Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carnivore's delight

I thought steak and potatoes was the meal of all man meals, until I arrived to Argentina. They hands down have the dude meal of choice I've seen to date (until we visit a culture that eats raw meat off the bone or something). Forget the potatoes, forget the sides, even forget the bread. Simply pile the meat on a mini grill and toss it on the center of the table, perhaps with a bottle of wine. A carnivores delight!

Every cut, breed and size of meat can be a part of the asado, or barbecue. Although, we've only had the watered-down version-- a huge slab of beef loin, a few huge ribs, a chunk of brisket and a chorizo or two-- the meal has many delicacies that are thrown on the Argentine grill. Chicken, blood sausage, liver, kidneys, intestines, or other random cow parts can also be doused with a bit of marinade and roasted to harmony.

Buenos Aires is often noted for their parillas, asado serving restaurants. Occasionally their windows are filled with with flames and large racks of meat spralled over the coals. These racks are quite enticing to the carnavore types. "The Buenos Aires [parilla] experience was overwhelming...The plate of meat came, and it filled me up with its first waft," according to a traveler buddy of ours, Chris M.

In Argentina, it also seems to be a crime to serve these delicious roasted meats without a sauce (at least), since not much else is on the table. There are usually a range of little ramekins of spicy flavors and oils that can accompany the meat platter, but the most noted is the chimichuri. Full of sabor and spice, this sauce can be purchased in local Argentine markets. For most of you, I know this poses a problem, so here is my version; the one I've adapted from a few recipes along the way. Try it for your next asado!

Chimichuri Sauce
2 cups pure olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup cilantro or parsley (which ever you prefer)
3 cloves of garlic, pureed
salt and pepper to taste
**Easy route: throw all these ingredients into a blender and poof: Chimichuri!
***Option two: finely chop everything and stir together.

"It's an important event that you do with your family or friends; usually a lot of people because you wouldn't do such a big production for just a few." -- Julietta, friend and local of Buenos Aires.

The meat in Argentina is AMAZING and cheap, so eat up! You don't get meat like this in the States unless you shell out significant amounts of money.

Although tempting, don't eat the bread; save room for the meat!

1 comment:

  1. It's not even 6am east coast time (5-14-09) and now I'm hungry...