Beef has been central to Argentinean cuisine since time immemorial. We like our meat grilled slowly over embers, never over open flame, to let the flavour develop. Nowadays, most people use a traditional charcoal grill (parilla), in which they lay the meat, sausages and sometimes offal (chitterlings, sweetbreads, black pudding) flat on the metal grille over the charcoal embers (brasas.)
However, the traditional method used by the gauchos -and still used on special occasions- is the asado al asador or en cruz.
Whole racks of short ribs or lamb or pork are skewered in cross-shaped metal frames (from where the name a la cruz comes), which is then dug in an open pit. The meat is kept at a distance from the flames so that it doesn’t get charred (we don’t like char) but slowly cooked to delicious golden perfection.
Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.