Bife De Chorizo – Sirloin Strip Steak (Top Loin)

Bife De Chorizo - Sirloin Strip Steak
(Cooked for about 25 minutes per side over a medium fire.)

If it were not for travel guides, acquaintances, or menu translations, I wonder how many first time visitors to Argentina would bypass bife de chorizo thinking it to be some sort of Argentinean sausage version of the hamburger steak. Instead, moving on to other unfamiliar names that for some reason scream beef of which Argentina is famous for and what these visitors want to devour. However, that is not the case and this juicy steak is probably one of the most popular requested parrilla items by visitors and locals alike off of many menus throughout Argentina.

So where did the chorizo part come from? Well, one story offers that the whole cut–where the steaks come from– resembles a chorizo due to its somewhat cylindrical round shape. Any truth to that? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Like lomo(tenderloin) and ojo de bife/bife ancho (rib-eye cuts), bife de chorizo is one of the cuts of meat that is similarly cut the same elsewhere around the world as in Argentina. It is the same cut as what you may know as top loin, sirloin steak, strip steak, N.Y. strip, and a few others that I can’t think of off the top of my head. The steak of steaks. They are just meant for the grill. Rich, meaty, juicy, and you need a steak knife to cut through it. Because of all this, bife de chorizo acts as a great litmus test for those who care to sample and compare Argentinean beef to the beef they consume in their own locale.

Bife De Chorizo Raw
(2 2-inch(5cm) thick bifes, about 1lb(.5 kilos) each)

Buying:

As I mentioned above, there is hardly any difference between bife de chorizo and what are known as sirloin strip or top loin steaks in other parts of the world–if any, it boils down to the trimming of surrounding fat and sinew. Typically bife de chorizos are not as well trimmed, however that is not written in stone. It all depends on what’s popular in your area or what mood the butcher is in.

Avoid those little thin skimpy steaks that come in a plastic-wrapped styrofoam tray–well unless they are really thick. Go to the meat counter or a butcher and ask for at least 2-2.5″ (5-6cm) thick cuts. Come on don’t be cheap, you are trying to replicate those gargantuan bife de chorizos you find in parrilla restaurants. Also, by going to the butcher you can most likely have them leave on a decent layer of that fat on one side.

Cooking:

If you are familiar with grilling steaks you should have no problem here. Unlike many other parrilla meats that need to be cooked nice and slow, bife de chorizos are cooked fast or slow depending on personal preference. Toss them over a hot fire to quickly achieve a rich juicy rare steak with some nice looking grill marks on the outside. Cook slowly over a medium fire to produce a tender medium-done steak with a deep brown somewhat crunchy exterior–although you can also do a near rare steak with this method as well. Just follow the thumb test that I mentioned in the tri-tip post for the level of doneness.

Note:Boneless is the most popular in Argentina but bone-in is offered as well at times.

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14 Comment(s)

  1. This is my favorite cut of beef, with Rib eye (costillon in Panama, Argentina ??) my close second.

    During my month in BA, I lost count of how many I consumed. Check this one out from La Cabrera in Palermo Viejo http://flickr.com/photos/pelle/231061376/

    Pelle | May 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. Wow that’s huge! I’ve seen some pics from others at Cabrera but they were scaled down so much that you couldn’t get an idea of size.

    I really need to try that place next time I’m up in Buenos Aires.

    Asado Arg | May 16, 2007 | Reply

  3. QUe buen asado, las fotos me hacen re-descubrir y fantasear con el asado y la carne de mi país.
    Saludos, los felicito por las fotos
    Pablo
    noticiasentuidioma.com

    Pablo | Mar 9, 2008 | Reply

  4. Wow….Tierra del Fuego, casi en el fin del mundo.
    Se extrana el asado de argentina.

    Hernan | Mar 16, 2009 | Reply

  5. Aos nobres vizinhos argentinos meus parabens por esta nobre invencao do bife do chourizo, de fotbool voces nao endedem muita coisa!ha!!! ha!!! mas de parrilla tenho que tirar chapeu. muito boa sorte a vcs. ps:. sou homem justo por ser filho da viuva:.

    jose almiro de morais | Apr 20, 2009 | Reply

  6. Man, awesome!
    I a brazilian too and here we love the argentin’s way to make a barbecue (parrilla).
    sorry for the bad english
    xxoo

    Leon Korkes | Jun 8, 2009 | Reply

  7. S*it, that´s the biggest piece of meat I´ve ever seen. I was in BA two months ago and when I had known about this restaurant I´d have definitely gone there. Nice
    Greetings from Czech Republic

    Petr | Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

  8. Vivo en España y puedo decir que en cuestion de “carnes” y la cocina en general, PODEMOS DORMIR TRANQUILOS…, he probado en innumerables restaurants y lugares y NO HAY COMPARACION. La CARNE ARGENTINA es muy superior, es superlativa. Ademas, en Barcelona, por ejemplo, es caro y en esta cuestion, a años luz de nuestra cocina. Conversando con una italiana que tiene un restaurant de gran categoria, donde recibe a los VIPs en Barcelona, confiesa: no hay otros, ademas de ellos, que preparen con tanta excelencia la pasta (los tallarines en argentino) casera. Son los unicos que lo saben hacer y comer.
    Brindo por ello: con un Malbec por supuesto.

    FERNANDO | Dec 18, 2009 | Reply

  9. Bife de Chorizo in Buenos Aires with a good Artine red wine is one of the best steak ever.
    I’ve been trying to find the same cut here in the US but haven’t found it yet. Any tips?
    Congrats to the Argetine people!

    Mark Ivanowski | Dec 21, 2009 | Reply

  10. Fernando, volvete rápido a Pompeya porque no entendiste nada. La Argentinidad al palo…

    Gabriel | Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

  11. todo muy lindo pero es BIFE CHORIZO no bife de chorizo, no esta hecho con chorizo el bife, tiene forma de chorizo y si lo decia asi el gato dumas, debe ser la posta.

    ElTanke | Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

  12. This sirloin strip steak sounds delicious! :D

    MeatHub Inc. | Dec 29, 2010 | Reply

  13. Replying to my colleague Fernando, and not wanting to argue about excellent argentinan beef…

    Barcelona may be is one of the worst places in Spain to have meat, despite the wonderful catalonian cooking, meat there is not cooked the right way.

    But in Spain there are places where you can eat excellent asados, like basque country, Asturias, galicia, Avila… Just keep in mind that meat cuts are not the same, the rest is pure joy. I’d avoid the so called Argentinian meat in Spain conservation techniques make the meat loosing it’s properties

    Give another chance to Spanish meat ; )

    Fernando (spain) | Dec 4, 2011 | Reply

  14. LomoVetado (Chilean Rib eye)

    Johny100 | Sep 9, 2012 | Reply

10 Trackback(s)

  1. May 30, 2007: from Asado Argentina » Asadoware
  2. Jun 1, 2009: from El Oso » Archive » [Review] The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Dog-Eared Bible to a Movement
  3. Sep 23, 2009: from Meat – it’s what’s for dinner, or lunch | Backpacking South America
  4. Dec 4, 2010: from In today's post, Gonzo commands you to get up and go!
  5. May 17, 2011: from Argentines Eat a Lot Of Meat and You Can Too | Off Track Planet
  6. Feb 23, 2012: from Top Five Things to do in Buenos Aires - The London Word
  7. Sep 26, 2012: from Córdoba, Argentina – Restaurantes, Bares, Café e Balada | Destino Desconhecido
  8. Sep 26, 2012: from Córdoba, Argentina – Restaurantes, Café e Bares | Destino Desconhecido
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  10. Nov 21, 2013: from Steak Buenos Aires: Las Cabras | Steak Buenos Aires

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