Argentina is known worldwide for its’ Beef. The national dish of Argentina is Asado, an assortment of grilled beef; Steaks, ribs, chorizo; mollejas (sweetbread), chinchulines (chitterlings), and morcilla (blood sausage) are grilled over an open fire on a Parillo or a large grill. It’s interesting to note that the average consumption of beef in Argentina is almost 56 kg per person annually. I doubt seriously that TV commercials are asking “Where’s the Beef?” After Brazil and Australia, Argentina ranks third in the world as the largest beef exporter.
WHAT IS ASADO?
The definition of Asado relates to the social event and technique of having a barbecue. The food prepared is also called Asado. Looking back to my last article on Buenos Aires, the fabulous aromas that I talked about in La Boca were from the many Asado. If you are a meat-eater, you will feel like you have died and gone to food heaven!
HISTORY OF THE ASADO:
The Spanish first brought cattle to Argentina in 1536. Because the Pampa is so small, the cattle breed quite rapidly. This results in herd sizes increasing quickly. Another interesting fact is that because the season is flipped between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, the Argentine cattle came to market at opposite times in the United States and Europe, making it a high-demand item. After the demand increased, new breeds and cross-breeding became an important issue. Today there are several Argentinian breeds.
THE DIFFERENT MEATS OF THE ASADO:
Typically, you will find various cuts of steak, chorizo (sausage), and ribs. Many times, chicken and pork are included in the Asado. The Asador (cook) will also serve red wine and salad with a variety of meats from his grill.
Fire up the grill, put on some tango music, and grab a Cerveza! Get ready for nothing short of deliciousness as you prepare and eat like an Argentinian!
ASADO RECIPE – THE NATIONAL DISH OF ARGENTINA:
ARGENTINIAN 3 BONE SHORT RIBS
- 3 ½ lbs flanken-cut 3-bone beef short ribs, at room temperature (about 6 short ribs, 11/4 inches thick)
- 1 ½ tablespoon coarse sea salt, Himalayan salt, or Kosher salt.
HOW TO PREPARE:
- Preheat grill preferably using a wood fire to medium-high. You want the grill temperature to be at about 450 F. Meanwhile, pat ribs dry. Salt all sides of the ribs, pressing salt into meat and rubbing it on bones.
- Use Canola oil or Olive oil to oil the grill grates, placing the ribs on the grate and grill, uncovered and without flipping. Cook them until the bottoms are browned which will allow them to release easily from the grates. This should take about 5-8 minutes depending on the temperature of your grill.
- Flip ribs; grill, and continue cooking uncovered until they are nicely browned. Once browned, insert a meat thermometer near the bone until the thermometer registers an internal temperature of 130°F. Once the desired temperature has been reached, remove the meat from the grill, letting it rest uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes. The resting period is important as it allows the meat to continue cooking and the juices to settle.
- Serve with Chimichurri- an oil-based accompaniment, a fresh garden salad, and Argentinan red wine.
Chimichurri is usually made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, peppers, and a variety of other spices. There are many variations of this accompaniment with various tastes and heat indexes on the spice meter.
As you prepare the Asado, the aroma will waft through your neighborhood- I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear knocking on your door from uninvited guests!
I hope you enjoyed the national Dish of Argentia recipe, Asado, and it becomes a regular in cooking rotation!
Until next time, friends, remember “To Travel is to Live!”