Asado is the name given to barbeques in South America, which are traditional social gatherings in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. They tend to be held at weekends and can last for hours, with guests enjoying the social aspect as much as the food.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The Asado cooking style was made popular by South American cowboys, known as Gauchos, who would slow cook meat skewered to a metal frame over a fire until it was tender. Asado meat is not traditionally marinated, but may be salted, so most of the flavor comes from the fire alone.
The person tending the grill is referred to as the “asador”; they are tasked with maintaining the fire and timing the cooking so that all of the meat is perfectly cooked at the right time.
Usually appetizers are served first, followed by the main course of various cuts of beef, pork, and/or chicken. Common appetizers include chorizo, morcillas (black pudding) and other organs such as kidneys. There are usually a range of breads and salads served on the side at asados.
In Paraguay, asados are a popular way to celebrate independence day on the 14th and 15th May. Asados are the perfect way to cook a large meal for many people at the same time, so whole families, and even entire neighborhoods can celebrate together.
- Chorizo sausage - 6
- Pork Sausages - 6
- Offal - 1 lb
- Beef ribs - 2 lbs
- Sirloin steak - 2 lbs
- Salad - to serve
- Bread - to serve
- Make your side dishes in advance. Prepare fresh salads and a range of breads to be served with the meat, once cooked.
- Build a fire using a pile of wood and coal.
- Allow the wood to burn away, leaving hot coals. This may take around 30 minutes.
- Set up the cast iron grill so it is approximately 8 inches above the coal.
- Chop the beef into your desired cuts and sprinkle it with salt.
- Place the larger cuts of meat onto the metal skewers, or straight on to the grill, first to give them longer to cook. They should be slowly cooked at a low temperature for at least two hours.
- Add your chorizo, offal and ribs to the grill.
- Make sure to turn the meat every 15-20 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Cook these until the meat is cooked through and slightly charred on the outside, usually for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve your Asado meats with bread and salads on the side.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 671Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 449mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 52g