Amongst the things that stand out when it comes to the Argentine way of barbecuing, and by far
So what is an asado in Argentina like?
The prelude to the fire
Asados in Argentina have a person in payment. Generally, the homeowner, buys the meat in his friendly local butcher -because he knows him and trusts him – and the vegetables and the bread. As a responsible host, he plans it in detail. For a excellent asado, he calculates half a kilo of meat per adult and chooses a selection cuts
Some pork sausages, a flank steak, ribs, skirt steaks and some additional delicacies. Each asador has his own: chitterlings, sweetbreads, kidneys, offal, all seasoned to your taste. If he is an ancient enthusiast, he’ll also buy a case of wine in case the day stretches out. Although the drinks are usually the guest’s responsibility. With this simple sharing mechanism, two essential things are established: the role of the cook on one hand, and the jury of notables on the additional. The latter will be responsible for judging the ability of the cook and plying him with excellent wines.
The fire and its variants
There are many techniques and ways to make a fire in Argentina. In dry climates they use native, hard firewood which produces powerful embers, whereas in humid climates coal is used. But a trained asador always uses some special timber to provide flavour to the meat. Since we were cavemen and women, fire has been captivating us, and here it becomes the focal point
Journalist Michael Pollan published a book last year entitled Cooking. A natural description of the transformation, which devotes 124 pages to justify the fact that grilled meat is the best way to cook. He reveals surprising secrets about the art of barbecuing, which would amaze a New Yorker or a Spaniard, but would not raise an eyebrow in Argentina.
Pollan argues that if the meat is cooked slowly, mastering the art of fire, it can be juicy and full of flavour. And that is precisely what happens in each Argentine asado. The asador spreads a few embers below the grill
The right point
In Argentina, there are provinces that eat the asado well done, as in Mendoza and San Juan, and others which prefer it juicy, as in the province of Buenos Aires. Whatever the point, one thing is particular: already seated at the table, the asador serves the various cuts on a tray according to a precise calculation of possibilities.
That’s when the wine gains prominence. With a peaceful appetite, the best reds are uncorked. Generally, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, or a blend of them, which have organize to accompany the beef. And wether the wine is liked or not it is subjected to the judgment of the additional guests.
Like the cook, the guest also gets his turn. And with this simple mechanism of give and take, the asado progresses. They can stretch out over four hours or more, two for cooking, one for eating and another for relaxing after the meal, all of which
With the wine flowing, a full belly and a pleased heart – like the saying goes – the asado continues its erratic course until late afternoon, either in the living room of a house, in the yard below the trees or at the grill of some club.
Written by Joaquin Hidalgo
The post The asado: an Argentine barbecue experience to savour with red wine appeared first on Decanter.
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