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World Grilling

ARGENTINA

The word for traditional Argentine barbecue is Asado

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Signature Dish

An Asado is a social occasion for family and friends to feast on various cuts of grass-fed beef — especially organ meats — grilled on a parilla (grate) over wood or charcoal.

Typical Asados may include achuras (offal or entrails), such as chinchulines (chitterlings), mollejas (sweetbreads), morcilla (blood sausage) and chorizo (large barbecue sausage) seasoned only with sea salt and accompanied by Salsa Criolla (onion, tomato & vinegar) or Chimichurri (chopped parsley, oregano, salt, garlic, pepper, paprika & onion).



Why Asados?

Legend has it that one very virile bull and seven cows were brought from what is today the southern tip of Brazil and left on the grasslands of Argentina in roughly 1550. By the 18th century, an estimated 40 million cattle roamed the Pampas.

Recipe

Authentic Argentine Asado Steak with Chimichurri*









The gauchos figured out long ago that Argentina’s lean, flavorful grass-fed beef calls for grilling apunto (medium-well) over gentle, even heat with no direct flame or smoke to pollute the flavor. 


Use 10–12 oz. free-range Argentine grass-fed beef per ­person. (American grass-fed beef may be substituted.) Cut may be hanger steak, NY strip or ribeye.



  1. Replicate the asado tradition of an open wood fire using hardwood lump charcoal. Let it ash over completely before you start cooking and establish a medium-heat fire. (You should be able to hold your hand an inch from the grate for no longer than 2.5 seconds.).




  2. Cook gently. Place the unseasoned steak over the grill for about 3 minutes till brown. Turn and season the browned side with coarse sea salt. Turn again after 3 more minutes and salt the newly browned side. Continue rotating the steak every few minutes for a total of 12 minutes cooking time. Use a squirt bottle of water to control flare-ups, ensuring no direct flame or smoke touches the meat. The steak is done apunto when its interior reaches 150°.




  3. Remove steak from grill and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. This step is especially important for retaining the juices of super lean, ­grass-fed meat.


 


Chimichurri


Best prepared a day ahead. Keeps up to three weeks.


Simmer I cup water and 1 Tbs. coarse salt in a small pan.


Stir to dissolve salt and remove from heat.


Mince and combine in bowl 1 head garlic, 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, 1 cup fresh oregano, 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.


Whisk in ¼ c. red wine vinegar, then 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, then salted water.


Transfer to a jar with tight lid, shake to combine and refrigerate.


 


* mensjournal.com


 



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