Asado con y sin gas

November 23, 2013

When we first went to Argentina more than 16 years ago we were introduced to the delights of the asado –  barbecues on a parilla – the wood fired oven.

The food was delicious and I put a parilla on my one-day-when list for home.

In the meantime we had to make do with ordinary barbecues, or what one of our Argentinean visitors dubbed asado con gas – asado with gas.

Nearly three years ago we got the South African version of a parilla – a Kiwi Braii – at our crib in Wanaka and now, finally we’ve got a parilla at home.

The last of the fire bricks were installed last week.

parilla 007

We’ve got 150ish people coming for dinner tonight so my farmer test-drove the parilla, cooking a fillet of beef yesterday evening.

One of the secrets of the asado is cooking over embers rather than flame.

The fire is lit to one side and when the embers drop, they’re lifted on a long-handled shovel and placed under the food.

It requires patience but the taste and tenderness of the meat is worth the wait.

parrilla hp

Last night’s test-drive was a success.

I’ll be able to report to our Argentinean friends that we can now cook an asado con y sin gas – with and without gas and we’ve brought the taste of Argentina to #gigatownoamaru.

Argentina days 2 & 3

February 26, 2012

Argentineans are practitioners of slow cooking.

The fire was lit in the mud oven soon after we arrived on Saturday afternoon, it took several hours to get it to the desired temperature then a few more to cook the pollo (chicken) and sweet potato.

As is the norm, it was well after 10 before we ate, but it was worth the wait.

Next day was a lazy Sunday, with our hosts, extended family and friends beside – or in – the swimming pool, talking, reading, snoozing and/or horse riding.

Lunch was beef, slow-cooked on the parrilla.

It was served with bread and salad, acompanied by beer or wine and followed by fresh fruit and alfajores – biscuit sandwiches filled with dulce de leche (caramel) and covered in chocolate.

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