“All Argentine asado (Barbecues) begin with the meet selection, Mallmann´s includes. The most authentic asados feature a varied selections of cut´s, as well as different sausages, including short ribs, flank roast, skirt steak, pork sausages, and blood sausages. About 1 pound (1/2 kg) of meat and sausages is the typical portion per adult.
Simple metal grill racks placed over and open fire are popular, as are built-in cement or brick structure. Because controlling the heat in different areas is all-important, most people prefer to use movable grill rack that allows easy access to the wood. The first steep is choosing the proper wood the fire. A lighter wood such as cypress or pine will produce a lot of flames, but the embers won´t last very long- perfect for a thinner piece of meat to be cooked rare. Denser heavier hardwoods such as apple or oak take more time to light and have lower flames, but have longer-lasting embers for cooking larger cuts. If possible, a selection of both kinds of wood is best. The lighter woods will provide the first embers to begin the asado; the denser woods will provide longer- lasting ember for a nice finish. Calculate about 2 pounds (910Kg) of wood for each pound of meat.
It´s important always have afire going off to the side of the grill- a “feeder fire” in a smaller barbecue grill- so you always have embers available to place under the grill and maintain the proper temperature. The best way to measure the temperature is to hold your hand 6 inches (15 cm) above the grill. If you can keep your hands there for 6 to 8 seconds, the fire is just right.
Once the fire is started, it´s time to clean the grill grids. The grinds should be left with the grease from the last cooking still on them- this ensures that they don´t rust. Placing the grill rack over the flames of the lit fire will melt all the grease. After about the 5 minutes, just wipe the grids clean with newspaper or a grill brush.
Now, it´s time to season the meat. For a true Argentine barbecue, salt is the only necessary seasoning. It´s important to use a medium-to large- grained sea salt or kosher salt. The larges grains absorb less liquid from the meat and keep it from drying out. In Argentina, it is said that using sal gruesa (coarse salt) perfectly salts each cut; the excess salt just falls of as you move the meat to the grill!
Place the cuts that take longest to grill- the short ribs and flank roast-on the grill rack. The short ribs should go on bone side down, and the flank roast should by placed fast side down”
A book worth buying should you wish to get an insider view of the best gourmet delights Argentina has to offer – we lived there for 12 yrs and can vouch for Laura’s tips – well done Laura I love the book.