Argentine Beef Skewers

August 1, 2011

These days, Sunday lunch seems more precious than ever.  Mama accepts the lie that I’m going to keep things simple, and I accept the fact that Sunday lunch isn’t going to be a weekly affair anymore.  Still, it’s a good deal all around.

Sitting across the table from family, tucking into something a little special, watching the Minxes turn up their noses–vociferously– at whatever’s on the menu?  That’s the good stuff, people.

I know that a lot of you have been sweltering in unbearable heat, paralyzed by humidity and Mother Nature’s wrath, and that suckitysucks and I’m sorry. That said, I hope you’ll forgive me when I say that I’d like this summer to go on forever. This summer, life’s blazing in Technicolor.  Little snatches of days or hours suddenly illuminate, like in the Wizard of Oz, when the yellow brick road appears, jarring you out of black and white.

A month or so ago, before the world turned Seven Kinds of Owl Shit* on us, Mama and Daddy came up for Sunday lunch.  As much as I love Sunday lunch, and all that goes with it, it’s a tad bit of pain in the ass on my end, because Daddy-o is strictly on Team Pork or Team Beef. No feathered or gilled things need apply.

Luckily, that brown-eyed rascal is worth it, so I flip through cookbooks, looking for something that will please. *Shocker Alert*: This recipe came from the Bible of summer lovin’, Jamie Purviance’s Weber’s Way to Grill. You need this Bible in your life…and yes, I am waiting for the James-man to call me someday, thanking me for my loyalty. Probably not gonna happen, eh, Goldilocks? But still. Get it.

My herb garden this summer, to my shock, is thriving. This is a wonderment. I have a storied history of killing green living things. Not this year. This miracle made me doubly excited to make this recipe, because I could use the thriving stuff just ten steps out the back door and then brag shamelessly.

Which I did, because this recipe is a winner. We had a lovely lunch, engaging in a rousing bout of ChitChat** as we ate.

You know, it’s weird. We didn’t know we were in the calm before the storm, and I’m not sure it mattered. What matters is the laughing and the eating and even the tears. Even those.

Argentine Beef Skewers with Chimmichurri Sauce

serves 4 to 6

from Weber’s Way to Grill


1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, leaves and tender stems

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup chopped white onion, rinsed

1/4 cup chopped carrot

1 medium garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar


1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds top sirloin, about an inch thick, cut into 1-inch cubes

extra-virgin olive oil

18 cherry tomatoes

In a food processor, finely chop the parsley, basil, onion, carrot, garlic and salt. With the machine running, pour in olive oil and vinegar, until sauce is fairly thick.

Mix the rub ingredients together.

Place the steak cubes in a large bowl and toss lightly with a little olive oil. Add the rub; toss. Set aside at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Thread meat and tomatoes alternately on skewers. Grill the skewers over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked through–6 to 8 minutes total for medium rare, turning occasionally.

Let meat rest 5 minutes, coat with sauce or, alternatively, serve with sauce on the side.

* “Seven kinds of owl shit” was my grandfather’s favorite curse. He had plenty of vices–the main one being Gilbey’s gin–but he wasn’t a curser. When things really got dire, though, he’d unload with, “seven kinds of owl shit.” It’s actually a pretty satisfying curse. Next time the Universe craps on you, give it a whirl. Has good mouth-feel.

**ChitChat rocks. Our favorite card that day was: What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever received? Good stuff, Maynard. I’d love to hear what you have to say, if you wanna play.

ps: Thank you, dear readers, for the outpouring of love and concern–big and small and all kinds of wonderful. I’m a lucky girl.

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby August 1, 2011 at 4:56 am

First, I’m a bit behind on my reading but just read your last post. Although I’m still not quite sure of the exact situation, (it’s none of my business anyway,) I just wanted to send my thoughts and prayers your way.
Second, I plan on using “seven kinds of owl shit” on a daily basis.
Finally, the most unusual gift I’ve received? I had a very creative boyfriend for six years, and some gifts included a real stop sign (I ran one in driver’s training,) an ice sculpture with a rose frozen inside, a decorative ostrich egg (thing was huge) and a few gifts that weren’t wrapped, but rather stuck inside wood boxes that required a power tools to unscrew.

You said “unusual,” not best. And no, we’re not still together–thank GOD.


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:26 am


Those gifts are hilarious. Sounds like you were about as successful at driver’s training as I was. We had ours at a driving range (basically a gi-normous parking lot) and the instructor sat in a booth above us and barked orders over a piped-in sound system. The first day, I started up my car, accidentally put it in reverse, hit the accellorator, and he barked over the loudspeaker, “Car number four, what the Hell are you doing?”

I wanted to die.


Barbara August 1, 2011 at 5:38 am

I’m not certain what’s going on in your life right now, but I assume from reading your mother is going through a really difficult time…please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

I can barely believe it’s August already…the summer has gone by so fast. Your Sunday lunch looks pretty tempting to me!
Love the seven kinds of owl shit. Going to remember that one too!


ck August 1, 2011 at 5:53 am

Love to you and Mama (and to the Minxes who make me feel much better about the fact that my girls turn their noses up at anything that can’t-or shouldn’t- be dipped in ketchup.)


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:27 am


My kids dip everything in ketchup. Even cucumbers. Eww.


heather August 1, 2011 at 5:53 am

wishing you luck on the owl shit situation.
my now husband gave me a “magic screwdriver” (15 interchangable heads/bits/whatever they are) on our 1st valentines day together. i whacked him with it, but i use it all the time, and carry it in my purse. occassionally i think about using it for shanking people, but i haven’t yet. just knowing that it’s an option makes me feel better.


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:28 am


Shanking people sounds pretty good about now.


From Belgium August 1, 2011 at 5:57 am

I hope you’re radar will be cleer from Owl shit of all kinds soon. *big hug*


jessica August 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

Sometimes we need to wade through 7 kinds of Owl Shit to see the technicolor…think of you and your Mom and sending you strength. I’ve sat in the same seat as you and I know it’s not a comfortable one. Hang in there, friend.


Amy Tucker August 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

LOL @ Heather and the shanking part.

You I love you KW and I have nothing but positive thoughts for you and mama.

Weirdest gift, hmm I guess it was an ugly sweater 2 sizes too small from a distant aunt of dh’s we didn’t really know them. It didn’t have tags.


koreen August 1, 2011 at 7:33 am

Dang, you’re my kind of girl. Both with the cursing and the meat. Eff and sh– are so boring. But seven kinds? Of the owl kind? Wicked! Can’t wait. And knowing my life, it will get tried out today. Yeehaw! ;)


Jennifer August 1, 2011 at 7:34 am

I love chimmichurri and this looks fantastic. I keep meaning to buy that cookbook. I guess I should just go ahead and do it.


Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts August 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

Daddy-o and I wouldn’t make good dining companions. I will play for Team Pork or Team Beef when called upon, but much prefer Team Poultry or Team Fish. However, this Argentinian number looks like it warrants a departure from my norms. (Besides, the bun in my ever-expanding oven requires me to limit my fish consumption to 12 oz/week – curses!)

Hugs to you, Mama, the girls, and everyone else in your camp. And damned be the seven owls who are shitting on you. I’ll have words with them. Promise.


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:31 am


When I was preggers with D., I had an extreme aversion to meat. The only protein I could stomach was, oddly, tuna. Which you ain’t really allowed to eat every day. I’m surprised the child didn’t come out glowing in the dark.


BigLittleWolf August 1, 2011 at 9:04 am

Reading between the lines, it sounds like a lot is going on… and I’m glad you’re hanging on to those vibrant snatches of summer. We can live off those, you know? Through a great deal.

Screw the owls. Say yes to the Munchkins.

As for Argentine beef, would you believe I was actually discussing South American cattle ranching just this weekend – and the differences in taste between Argentinian beef and American? (Seriously.)

Go figure.


Tiffany August 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

I really do adore you, Dana. I am always thinking of you and I’m always here.


Belinda August 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

Argentinian meat? In my dreams…

Sending hugs and warmth to you, your mom and the rest of your family.


Katybeth August 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

Yum that looks good enough to eat–sorry you waxed on in beautiful pro’s and I offer you simple clichés. but you had me at the picture.
I was fifteen, visting a long lost relative and she gave me her full length, bright pink, rabbit coat.


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:33 am


Please, please, tell me that there’s a picture.


Jenna August 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I feel sorry that Daddy-o is missing out on the delights afforded by our gilled friends–I have a particularly nice piece of wild salmon that’s on the menu tonight. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri August 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I desperately want to say something uplifting and memorable. But I know that seven kinds of owl shit feeling and it sucks.

So all I got is love. And I am sending it to you and your Mama.



Klz August 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I hope things in your life stay technicolor


Cathy August 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Two completely unrelated comments:

Seriously – vociferously? WTH? Have you been doing SAT prep?

Second, I really need that 7 kinds of owl shit because that must be why I’m knee deep in it.

Something’s going on – need to catch up further on reading but hugs to you.


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:34 am


The curse of the former English teacher. :)


elizabeth August 4, 2011 at 7:45 am

Word nerds–unite!

I’m not normally a bit steak girl, but this week has sapped me (my body has a way of making it emphatically clear that I am not…ahem…which is completely fine except I really want some iron. I already know what we’re doing with the steak dry-aging in the fridge for tonight, but when I see that Hereford steaks are on sale again this week, I’ll have to float this by M and buy some Malbec to go with it.


Jane August 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Dear, sweet, TKW. This post made me all misty. There is a part of me that is so envious of your Sunday lunches and this beautiful family time you get to experience. And then I remember what you’re going through and I think, “Man, how tough to be in your shoes.” Love, love, love you. And love, love, love to that family of yours — especially your mom. xoxoxo


TKW August 3, 2011 at 5:22 am


Love, love, love you too.


bryan August 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Seven kinds of Owl Shit will be coming up soon, I do like the way that rolls around in my mouth.

The recipe ROCKS! I will add that to my summer grilling list!

You and your family are in my thoughts…


Kate August 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

First, and foremost, much love to you and your mom.

You’re so right that what matters is the laughing and talking and even crying together. Especially over memorable food.

And the most unusual gift I ever got? I think that would be the pair of rabbits who turns spontaneously into 18.


TKW August 2, 2011 at 5:35 am


Rabbits do have a way of multiplying, but 18? That’s a lot of fur.


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac August 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Yes, that one does indeed have good mouth-feel. Definitely gonna use it!

I’m amazed that you can make little morsels of meat look so damn good. Seriously…it’s hard to take photos of food where it doesn’t look like something a cat choked up.

Also…thinking about you and hoping things settle down soon.


Chiara August 2, 2011 at 3:37 am

I want this summer to go on forever as well. It is, indeed, life in technicolor here in Switzerland as well and I’m loving every minute of it.


Stephane August 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm

During “la campaign,” I apparently succeeded in convincing my he-man husband-to-be that I was an outdoorsy gal. Our first Christmas together, he presented me with a jewelery case-sized box tastefully dressed in beautiful heavy-weight wrapping paper and organza ribbon. Breathless with anticipation (Is it a watch? A tennis bracelet?), I tore off the ribbon and ripped away the paper to discover . . .

“A Leatherman Tool . . .

. . . How nice . . .

. . . Uh . . .

. . . Thank you.” Weak smile. ; )


TKW August 3, 2011 at 5:11 am


That’s awesome. Not for you, but for the retelling. He won’t live that one down.


Kevin (BBQ Smoker Site) August 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

While I don’t know that we can get Argentinian beef here in central FL, we can get pastured, grass-fed beef from Deep Creek Ranch Farms! Will have to give this recipe a shot!


sophia August 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

You have such a way with words. I’m enchanted. you’ve convinced me that I need to enjoy more meat like the wise Argentinean, and that summer should never end.


Heather August 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Thank you ever so much for permission to use Seven Kinds of Owl Shit! I’m so there right now and that phrase is gonna get me through, I just know it!
For the record, I’ve now given the Weber Bible to 2 different people as gifts. Have I bought one yet for myself??? Of course not! Can you say idiot?!?!
Unusual gift… In high school a dear friend and I had a running joke about this guy that we had hung out with in our circle of friends. I don’t recall all the details of the joke but she gave me a stuffed gorilla puppet and stuck in the place where a hand would go was a plastic container of banana flavored Jelly Bellies. I remember thinking that gorilla was either REALLY happy or incredibly uncomfortable!
My thoughts turn to you and your mama at least once a day. Often several times. You know how I feel.


TKW August 3, 2011 at 5:13 am


Did the boy resemble a gorilla? Also, banana-flavored anything is always disappointing, don’t you think?


Kelly August 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I want some Argentine beef skewers. And laughs and tears around your kitchen table with the minxes and your mama. It sounds perfect.


TKW August 3, 2011 at 5:13 am


Come any time.


MKCountryman August 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I made this recipe tonight – here’s a picture of it:

Also, unusual gift? At the risk of sounding petty and ungrateful, my husband and kids gave me for mothers day this year: A pedicure and manicure at a REALLY NICE SALON/SPA. Great, right? He gave it to my daughters too. He said, “It’ll be great mother/daughter time.” Soooooooooo, my little girls get to go to a nice mommy spa with mommy ….and Dad gets free time.
My girls are so excited and keep asking me to make the appointment. I am quite upset with myself that I can’t generate all their excitement.


TKW August 4, 2011 at 12:48 am

You are hilarious!


Biz August 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

First off, thanks for your potty mouth comment on my last post – you kick ass and I am going to knock those fuckers down if they dare yell shit at me the next time I run! :D

And yes, my husband is usually Team Beef or Team Pork – but I loves me a good chimichurri sauce, which my husband requests on the side because he thinks it ruins the meat. Men! Hugs!


Salad in a Jar August 4, 2011 at 11:11 am

Two things:
1. If you can grow green things like herbs then you can grow yeast inside of bread dough. Absolutely! Yogurt can’t be far behind. :-)
2. I don’t have any words for the previous post. Just tears.


TKW August 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm


I love you.


denise August 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Woman, you can WRITE. So many things I’d like to say/comment about/refer to, but since this space is small, I’ll leave these carefully hand-selected things:
1. Totally stealing 7 Kinds of Owl Shit. (Will give you credit.)
2. Sending light and love during everything you and your family are going through.
3. Looking forward to more words from you.



Maria August 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Yeah. Seven kinds of owl shit sounds about right.

Hang in there Kitchy. Continuous prayers for both you and Mama…



Karen b August 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Not sure how I ran across your blog but I love your food posts… Been hanging out in the chemo room with my big sis (43yrs old) for the last month so I get the lingo. Whether she likes it or not, My mass doesn’t leave that place until the last bag is done.. I’m so sorry you are going thru this.


grace August 5, 2011 at 12:53 am

all shit is bad, but owl shit (and seven ways, at that!) is particularly dismal–sending happy thoughts your way!
meanwhile, chimichurri sauce is made of yum–nice touch!


camilla August 5, 2011 at 3:16 am

Those beef skewers look AMAZING!! great photo kitch.

Take care of yourselves, it’s a hard road we took a couple years back with hubby’s mum. I founds hugs and lots of talking worked well for us. Thinking of you all x


Mary Lee August 5, 2011 at 9:37 am

I love that you can make your mother laugh during a chemo treatment, love that your mother can make jokes there, love that you stayed with her so she had someone to joke with.

After the winter you had, if you want summer to go on forever there, then I wish it, too. Then again, I don’t ski. You’ll have to defend yourself to those folks.

Hugs to you and your mom. Hugs with catsup on ’em for the Minxes.


Amber August 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

Haha! Cathy beat me to it! Except that I applaud your usage of “vociferously,” because it is one of my favorite words.

I think about you a lot. Just so you know.



Dawn August 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

I will glady suffer more days of sweating if it allows you to make this summer last forever. Somethings are just more important than being uncomfortable. Hugs to you and your Mom. And this recipe looks WONDERFUL. I think my husband would like it. He’s a huge meat freak.


Sherri August 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

Cherish those Sunday lunches – no matter what the future holds (good – bad – weird – whatever ;-). This is a hard time; I’m so happy to hear that, in typical TKW form, you are seizing all your moments with family. Strength, peace, and hugs to you, your mom and the whole family. Oh – and…. since I live with a complete and total carnivore…. going to try the yummy recipe too.


The Curious Cat August 7, 2011 at 3:07 am

Oh dear..clearly I have missed something – I really need to catch up! Hope all is well – I shall now read back!

This receipe sounds lush – it is only breakfast time here and my mouth is watering! xxx


The Curious Cat August 7, 2011 at 3:14 am

Hey hun,

Just read back – sending you an your mum and family good thoughts and wishes….I hop everything is going to be okay? xxx


Christine @ Coffees & Commutes August 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

Oh my goodness, yum-o. One of my favourite summer grilled meals is pesto crusted beef skewers, and I’m sure this would be a delicious substitute.

Thinking of you lots and lots.


faemom August 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

It sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it.


Pamela August 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Dana, you are a goddess. My lord.


TKW August 14, 2011 at 5:30 am


A goddess who says, “Seven kinds of owl shit.” :)


Harriett July 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was once a leisure account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?


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