The Asado Argentino or Argentine Barbecue is designed to be enjoyed with friends and family. The elaboration of some meats usually lasts up to five hours, during this time you eat, drink and enjoy the day, the wine, and the conversation.
Making an Argentine barbecue is relatively easy; however, you have to take into account a series of factors that clearly differentiate it from an American barbecue.
Before analyzing the steps for the correct preparation of a roast, I am going to describe the necessary elements for it:
A grill or barbecue must be adjustable in height and preferably should not have a lid.
Kitchen utensils: for the correct handling of food on the grill, it is convenient to have a long fork, a large and sharp knife, and kitchen tongs.
For the preparation of the fire, you must have paper (preferably newspaper), fast-burning wood such as pine, and charcoal. It can also be prepared with firewood.
We must prepare the meat and companions well in advance, either by salting it and/or cutting it to our liking.
Once we have all the above elements we can proceed to the preparation of the roast, for this we must follow a series of steps:
1) Fire Preparation
How to make an Argentine asado: preparation of the fire
This part is very important and can condition the entire preparation of the meal. The most traditional method of preparing the fire is by means of a pile of newspaper covered with high-combustion wood and in turn covered with charcoal.
This process makes it possible to ignite the charcoal in a simple way, since the paper ignites very quickly, which in turn ignites the high-combustion wood and this, the charcoal, which has more difficulties to combust.
It is vitally important that the charcoal is fully lit, for this we must observe a reddish color and not the typical black color of extinguished charcoal. If it does not light well, the charcoal could go out during the cooking process and not give the same flavor to the meat. Charcoal usually takes 10 minutes to fully ignite, although it depends on the variety of charcoal.
Another traditional way of preparing the fire is by means of firewood, the lighting process would be analogous but substituting charcoal for firewood.
2) Preparation of the Meat
It is usual to prepare the meat during the preparation of the fire, for this, the meat and other companions are usually put on a wooden board where it is cut to our liking, the fat can be removed if we do not want it and it is salted on both sides.
An Argentine asado usually has the following:
Bone-In Short Ribs: They are long strips of meat with small bones, they are usually cooked quickly.
Flap: Boneless piece of meat with juicy flavor, this type of cut has a lot of meat so cooking is slow. It can also be filled with vegetables or spices.
Chicken: It is common to incorporate a chicken in an Argentine barbecue, an interesting variant is chicken with lemon.
Chorizo and Morcilla: It is almost mandatory to incorporate these foods in a roast, with the chorizo it is typical to make a choripan.
Many varieties of meat and degrees of cooking can be combined, according to the taste of the guests. Grilled vegetables can also be added to accompany the meat, or directly a barbecue made entirely of vegetables.
How to prepare meat for the Grill?
The meat should be at room temperature when you start grilling it. If you put it cold, it may happen that only the outside is cooked and the inside is raw.
Generously season each cut. The species and ingredients with which the marinades are the ones that will give your asado a distinctive touch, leaving it juicy and delicious!
When the meat cuts are ready, let them rest on a warm surface to concentrate their juices and improve their flavor.
3) Cooking process
Once the fire and the meat are ready, we must clean the grill, to do this we place the embers under it and once it is hot, clean it with a wire brush or simply with newspaper.
Once clean, we incorporate the meat on top of the grill, it is important to provide enough embers to be able to cook but without overdoing it, since we could burn the outside of the meat and leave the inside raw.
The key to a good barbecue is to correctly regulate the amount of fire and the height of the grill, in order to achieve a stable and continuous cooking process. Roasts usually take between one and two hours depending on the cut of meat that we incorporate.
The perfect grill temperature for juicy meat
The grill fire is considered strong if you bring your hands close and can only hold them for 1-2 seconds. It is medium heat if your hands hold it for 3 to 4 seconds near the grill and it is low heat if you hold it for 5 to 7 seconds. If you can handle more than that time, you should heat it up even more so you get the perfect asado.
Another key aspect is to incorporate the different cuts depending on how long they take to cook, it being advisable to put those with a greater volume of meat first and then those with less. This way we can remove all the meat at the same time.
WHILE YOU’RE GRILLING
Make sure that the grill is not too close to the fire and waits for the embers to turn grayish or reddish. Otherwise, they can quickly burn your meat without cooking its interior or even give off gases that affect it.
When placing the meat on the grill, let it roast slowly and only turn it when it is ready so the meat fibers don’t break.
Ready! Once your cuts are roasted, let them rest for about 10 minutes to retain their juicy flavor before cutting and enjoying.
4) Serve the Asado
Once ready, the asado must be cut into individual pieces, this process is usually always carried out at the end of the asado since the whole cuts of meat are usually cooked and not in parts.
The choripanes and morcillas are usually eaten first as a kind of appetizer.
The most common way to serve a roast is on a tray, on a board or on a small portable grill that keeps the heat. The grill usually serves all its guests according to their tastes, since there are people who like different cooking points.
Now it’s up to you to make your own Asado Argentino.
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