Brazilian Marinated Steaks with Chile Lime Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Nothing beats a well-marbled rib-eye when the mood strikes for grilled beef. We love to eat steaks with a dab of strong hot chile paste like this rather than complicated sauce-both components are so direct.

NotesPreserved malagueta peppers are one of the hallmarks of Brazilian cooking. These tiny, extremely hot peppers are pickled in a 2:1 oil to grain alcohol mixture and allowed to sit for 1 month before using. They are available in some Latin American markets, or substitute your favorite pickled hot chiles.


Cooking Methodgrilling



Total Timehalf-day

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentblender, grill, grill pan


Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, meaty, tangy, tart


  • 4 (1½ inch thick) shell, sirloin, or rib-eye steaks
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 to 10 preserved malagueta peppers (see Notes), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped


  1. For the Steaks:

  2. Place the steaks in a single layer in a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the steaks, turning to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.

  3. Preheat the grill or heat a griddle pan over high heat.

  4. Remove the steaks from the marinade, shaking off the excess, and grill 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until done to taste. Transfer to a platter and let the steaks rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes, for the juices to settle. Serve with the chile lime sauce.

  5. For the Chile Lime Sauce:

  6. Combine all of the ingredients in a mini chopper or a blender, or use a mortar and pestle. Blend or grind until a paste is formed.

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