Grilled Steak with Sauce Vierge

  • Serves

    serves 4


Sauce vierge (literally, virgin sauce, a reference to its uncooked character) belongs to a family of fresh French Mediterranean sauces that differ greatly from the rich, stock-based sauces commonly associated with classical French cooking. Also called green sauce, sauce aux herbes, and sauce verte, it is usually a piquant mixture of olive oil, herbs, mustard, capers, olives, and other aromatics. In this version, chiles add a spicy, new-world dimension. Besides accompanying steak, this sauce goes well with grilled or sauteed pork chops or tuna.


  • 14 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 12 large green olives, such as cerignola, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy filets, drained and finely chopped
  • 4 cornichons, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 (½"-thick) top sirloin steaks (about 2 lbs.)


Step 1

On a cutting board, pile together the parsley, capers, olives, anchovies, cornichons, shallots, garlic, and jalapeño. With a large knife, finely chop and scrape the ingredients to combine.

Step 2

Transfer the parsley mixture to a large bowl and stir in 6 tbsp. of the olive oil and the mustard with a fork to make a thick and chunky sauce. (Drizzle in more olive oil for a thinner consistency, if you like.) Season with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside at room temperature to let rest for 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to mingle.

Step 3

Build a hot charcoal fire in a grill or heat a gas grill to high heat. Rub steaks with the remaining olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill steaks, turning once, until lightly browned and medium rare, about 2–3 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a platter and let rest for 3 minutes. Stir the sauce (it will begin to separate slightly as it sits) and spoon it over the steaks. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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