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Convivialità antica

The Argentine asado : the rich grill

A round of applause for the Asador!

It is often thought that Asado is a cut of meat but in reality it is a method of preparing and cooking grilled meat that is very common in South America, the cousin of Brazilian churrasco. Asado is a real festive occasion for families and friends which is prepared on Sundays, when people are not working, and on the most important holidays as a convivial moment. A tradition and a true culture of grilled meat which, thanks to this cooking, allows you to savor the true and unique taste of each cut of meat that is used.

The secret is much longer, controlled and slower cooking than we are used to in Italy. In fact, the word "Asado" actually means "cooked on the grill" and refers to the cooking of large cuts of beef, sometimes even the whole animal, which are left to cook indirectly (i.e. on the grill) for up to many hours. . The origin of this tradition comes down to us from the Argentine herdsmen, called Gauchos, who after long days spent in the pastures with the cattle, in the evening loved to relax in front of the fire all together and the asador, the cook, prepared the Cruz (the form in which meats were placed on the fire) for everyone.

Obviously, not only beef was cooked, since the Argentine tradition is very varied and rich in different meats, so it could also be found on the table: chorizo, the typical sausage, breast or pork ribs , while towards the Ande llama or goat meat and in Patagonia sheep or horse.

The real cut of beef is the one most used for asado: here in Italy it is customary to use it for broth because it is considered less delicious. Obviously, even if it is a typical Argentine grill, Italian Genuine Meat has nothing to envy of its American cousins ​​and can offer cuts of meat suitable for recreating a true Italian Asado. All you need to do is get the right cuts of meat and prepare to say: "un aplauso para el Asador!", the typical phrase that is shouted in Argentina when the plates are empty and the diners are satisfied.

How to prepare asado

The secret lies in simplicity! The main ingredients are: beef , lamb, pork , chicken , chimichurri sauce for marinating, salt and pepper, and of course the embers and plenty of time to continue cooking.

The first rule for obtaining a good Asado is choosing the right cuts of meat, those with good maturation and high marbling are to be preferred, which we will place on the grill. We choose beef , pork sausages and a whole chicken and proceed with the marinade: Maldon salt , pepper, rosemary or we can rely on RUB ! Remember to massage the meat, to ensure that all the aromas are distributed evenly across all cuts.

And then? Let's prepare plenty of embers with oak wood (or wood that burns slowly) so that we don't have to top up during cooking. We place the meat on the grill and you're done! Check the cooking often and remember that the asado meat must be soft inside (but never rare), with a nice crust on the outside.

Pairings: sauces and drinks

As for sauces, the soulmate of the Argentine asado is the famous chimichurri: a sauce based on oil , garlic and vinegar to which lemon, oregano, parsley, pepper, chilli and bay leaves are added. A unique mix with which the cooked meat is brushed with a sprig of rosemary to give additional flavour, it is accompanied during tasting but its use for marinating meat is not excluded. In our Italian recipe we can marinate the meat with seasonings or RUB suitable for every cut of meat and capable of giving aromatic notes with simplicity.

And what about drinking? When it comes to barbecue meat, a good red wine certainly cannot be missing! Choose a robust and decisive wine that can withstand the richness of the Asado such as the 2018 Barbera d'Asti or a Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC . For those who love the bubbles that come from hops, a good red agricultural beer gives the right fizz to degrease every cut of meat and enhance the smoking.

After this journey through the centuries-old lands of South America and the gauchos who graze their herds in the Pampas, we can return to our land and try to cook a real Italian Asado: all you need is excellent Genuine Meat, good company and perfect embers!