Argentine asado has stolen my heart. Literally. I have been eating so much barbecue grilled meat here that I may suffer a heart attack some time soon. But that’s okay – if it happens it will have totally been worth it 😉
Last Wednesday, everybody had the day off to commemorate the Falklands War (or to be politically correct here in Argentina, the Malvinas War). For the holiday, Nerina invited us to a proper asado at her home. She is one of Danny’s work colleagues and a born and bred Porteña – so we were very excited to join in for this truly local experience.
We travelled out west, deep into the suburbs of Buenos Aires. On our way, the wonderful smells of barbecue smoke and beef wafted out from the backyards to the streets. It seemed like everybody was having asado that day.
When we arrived, the asado was well under way.
Usually it’s the men who are responsible for cooking the meat.
But today, Yamila was our head chef.
… because the men were far too busy drinking and enjoying themselves.
Ever the feminist, Yamila was not impressed.
But don’t worry. We sorted her and Nerina out with a Spritz for each of them.
On one side of the parilla (grill) is where the coal is prepared. You can cook baked potatoes in there too.
And on the other side is the grill where the carnivorous goods belong.
Argentines eat every cut of the cow.
They even eat the thymus gland, a body part that I never even knew existed previously. The meat is called mollejas in Spanish – which sounds a little more appealing to the appetite than ‘thymus gland’ in English.
You barbecue the mollejas, then slice it up and re-grill the slices as the lovely Nerina demonstrates for us.
It’s not all meat, you know.
We added grilled cheese too.
Sweet baby chees-us. What a feast.
When the meat is ready, it gets served out on a special serving tray with coal inside to keep it smoking hot from parilla to plate.
We munched our way through all of the different cuts: blood sausages, asado ribs, lomo, vacio, ox tail … it went on all afternoon.
With plenty of second servings of course.
And if we didn’t pass out from the protein overload yet, cake was served up for dessert.
But wait … there’s more.
Drinks to while away the afternoon.
Wine, tequila, and an Argentine specialty – Fernet with Coke.
And that, is how you do a real asado.