Asado
Overview
 
Asado is a term used both for a range of barbecue techniques and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and southern Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. In the former countries asado is also the standard word for barbecue. An asado usually consists of beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 alongside various other meats, which are cooked on a grill
Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

, called a parrilla, or open fire
Fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

. It is considered a traditional dish in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

.
Food can be prepared either by an assigned asador (barbecu-er) or parrillero (griller), the (cook
Cook (profession)
A cook is a person who prepares food for consumption. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Canada this profession requires government approval ....

), which is common in more formal events and restaurants or done in a more collective manner by volunteers which is more common in informal and relaxed settings.
Usually the Asado will begin by igniting the coal.
Encyclopedia
Asado is a term used both for a range of barbecue techniques and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and southern Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. In the former countries asado is also the standard word for barbecue. An asado usually consists of beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 alongside various other meats, which are cooked on a grill
Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

, called a parrilla, or open fire
Fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

. It is considered a traditional dish in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

.

Organization

Food can be prepared either by an assigned asador (barbecu-er) or parrillero (griller), the (cook
Cook (profession)
A cook is a person who prepares food for consumption. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Canada this profession requires government approval ....

), which is common in more formal events and restaurants or done in a more collective manner by volunteers which is more common in informal and relaxed settings.

Coal and fire

Usually the Asado will begin by igniting the coal. The coal will usually be made of native trees avoiding pines and eucalyptus that have strong-smelling resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

s. In more sophisticated Asados the coal would be of a specific tree or made on the coal of recently burned wood, which is also the commonplace when having an Asado in a campfire
Campfire
A campfire is a fire lit at a campsite, to serve the following functions: light, warmth, a beacon, a bug and/or apex predator deterrent, to cook, and for a psychological sense of security. In established campgrounds they are usually in a fire ring for safety. Campfires are a popular feature of...

. In Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 charcoal is not used but direct embers or hot coals instead.

Cooking can be done or . In the first case a fire is made on the ground or in a fire pit and surrounded by metal crosses (asadores) that hold the entire carcass
Body
With regard to living things, a body is the physical body of an individual. "Body" often is used in connection with appearance, health issues and death...

 of an animal splayed open to receive the heat from the fire. In the second case a fire is made and after the coals have formed, a grill
Grill (cooking)
A barbecue grill is a device for cooking food by applying heat directly from below. There are several varieties of such grills, with most falling into one of two categories: gas-fueled and charcoal. There is a great debate over the merits of charcoal or gas for use as the cooking method between...

 with the meat is placed over.

Composition

An Asado may consist of embutido
Embutido
An embutido , enchido or embotits is a generic term for sausages found in Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and Central and South America....

s
, meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

s or both. Usually in more elaborate versions the embutidos or meats are accompanied by red wine and salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

s.

Embutidos

In many Asados chorizo
Chorizo
Chorizo is a term encompassing several types of pork sausages originating from the Iberian Peninsula.In English, it is usually pronounced , , or , but sometimes ....

s
, morcillas (black pudding), chinchulines (cow chitterlings
Chitterlings
Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious...

), mollejas (sweetbread
Sweetbread
Sweetbreads or ris are culinary names for the thymus or the pancreas especially of the calf and lamb...

) and other organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

s, often accompanied by provoleta
Provoleta
Provoleta is a trademark for more than 40 years which corresponds to a Argentine variant provolone cheese whose name is “Spinning Argentine provolone cheese.”Is a barbecued cheese dish consumed in Argentina and Uruguay....

would be served first while the cuts that require longer preparations are still on the grill. Sometimes these are served on a coal-heated brasero. Chorizos may be served with marraqueta
Marraqueta
The marraqueta is a South American crunchy bread made with flour, salt, water and leavening...

or baguette
Baguette
A baguette is "a long thin loaf of French bread" that is commonly made from basic lean dough...

 bread as choripan
Choripán
Choripán is a type of sandwich with chorizo invented in Argentina.This type of chorizo sandwich is very popular in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay...

es
to serve as appetizers.

Meats

After appetizers, costillas or asado de tira (ribs) can be served. Next comes vacío (flank steak
Flank steak
The flank steak, also known as bavette, is a beef steak cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. A relatively long and flat cut of meat, flank steak is used in a variety of dishes including London broil and fajitas...

), matambre and possibly chicken
Chicken (food)
Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world, and is prepared as food in a wide variety of ways, varying by region and culture.- History :...

 and chivito
Chivito
Chivito is the grilled meat of a young goat eaten in Argentina, sometimes as part of an asado. "Chivito" differs from "cabrito" in that chivito is a slightly older animal with less tender meat...

 (goatling). Dishes such as the Uruguayan Pamplona
Pamplona (meat)
The Pamplona is a grilled stuffed-meat dish from Uruguay, becoming increasingly popular in Argentina also.The traditional Pamplona is of chicken breast rolled with ham, cheese and peppers, tightly bound into a large sausage shape some 12–15 cm in diameter. The Pamplona is grilled on the...

, pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 and Patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

n lamb are becoming more frequent, particularly in restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s. An Asado also includes bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

, a simple mixed salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

 of, for instance, lettuce
Lettuce
Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. It is eaten either raw, notably in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and many other dishes, or cooked, as in Chinese cuisine in which the stem becomes just as important...

, tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

 and onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

s, or it could be accompanied with verdurajo (grilled vegetables), a mixture made of potatoes, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, onion and eggplant cooked on the grill and seasoned with olive oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

 and salt. Beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, soda
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

 and other beverages are common. Dessert
Dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

 is usually fresh fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

.

Another traditional form to mainly roast the meat, used in the Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, is with the whole animal (especially lamb and pork) in a wood stick nailed in the ground and exposed to the heat of live coals, called asado al palo.

The meat for an Asado is not marinated, the only preparation being the application of salt before and/or during the cooking period. Also, the heat and distance from the coals are controlled to provide a slow cooking; it usually takes around two hours to cook asado. Further, grease
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

 from the meat is not encouraged to fall on the coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

s and create smoke which would adversely flavour the meat. In some asados the area directly under the meat is kept clear of coals.

The asado is usually placed in a tray to be immediately served, but it can also be placed on a brasero right on the table to keep the meat warm. Chimichurri
Chimichurri
Chimichurri or Chimmichurri is a variant of green sauce, though there is a red version as well , also used as a marinade, for grilled meat...

, a sauce of chopped parsley
Parsley
Parsley is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region , naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice and a vegetable.- Description :Garden parsley is a bright green hairless biennial herbaceous plant in temperate...

, dried oregano
Oregano
Oregano – scientifically named Origanum vulgare by Carolus Linnaeus – is a common species of Origanum, a genus of the mint family . It is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall,...

, garlic, salt, pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, onion, and paprika
Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum . In many European languages, the word paprika refers to bell peppers themselves. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot...

 with olive oil, or salsa criolla, a sauce of tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

 and onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

 in vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

, are common accompaniments to an asado, where they are traditionally used on the offal
Offal
Offal , also called, especially in the United States, variety meats or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs other than...

, but not the steaks.

Salad

Food is often accompanied by salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

s, which in collective Asado gatherings are traditionally made by women on site or brought to the Asado from their homes while the men focus on the meats. Salad Olivier (Spanish: Ensalada rusa) is one of the most common salads served at Asados.

Variations

In Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, the local version Cordero al palo (Whole Roast Lamb) is usually accompanied with pebre
Pebre
Pebre is a Chilean condiment made of coriander, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic and ground or pureed spicy aji peppers. Pebre is most commonly spooned on meat, usually from a barbecue. If you add chopped tomatoes it is called Chancho en piedra....

, a local condiment made from puree
Purée
Purée and mash are general terms for cooked food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, blended, and/or sieved to the consistency of a soft creamy paste or thick liquid. Purées of specific foods are often known by specific names, e.g., mashed potatoes or apple sauce...

d herbs, garlic and hot peppers; in many ways similar to chimichurri
Chimichurri
Chimichurri or Chimmichurri is a variant of green sauce, though there is a red version as well , also used as a marinade, for grilled meat...

. The dish is typical of the South of Chile and is served hot accompanied by various salad vegetables. A whole lamb is tied to a spit and is then roasted perpendicular on a wood fire. The preparation lasts around 5 hours since cooking must be constant and on a low heat.

This is not to be confused with asado in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 which is a dish cooked in a sweet tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

-based stew
Stew
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables , meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used...

 that is usually accompanied by potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es, carrot
Carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

s and other vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s. Being true to its distinct East-meets-West cultural roots, Philippine asado is also used as a filling in siopao
Siopao
Siopao is a Hokkien term for bāozi , literally meaning "steamed buns". It has also been incorporated in to Thai cuisine where it is called salapao ....

, a Philippine version of bāozi
Baozi
A bāozi or simply known as bao, bau, humbow, nunu, bausak, pow or pau is a type of steamed, filled bun or bread-like item in various Chinese cuisines, as there is much variation as to the fillings and the preparations...

(包子). There is also Chinese asado in the Philippines, which really refers to dried sweetmeats as well as dried red-colored meats with sweet taste that are actually Char siu
Char siu
Char siu , otherwise known as barbecued meat in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat...

.

In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, asado is called churrasco
Churrasco
Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a prominent feature in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries...

, although the cooking is usually faster. Charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

 is predominantly used instead of ember
Ember
Embers are the glowing, hot coals made of greatly heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material that remain after, or sometimes precede a fire. Embers can glow very hot, sometimes as hot as the fire which created them...

s of wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, and Brazilians tend to cook the meat on skewer
Skewer
A skewer is a thin metal or wood stick used to hold pieces of food together. They are used while grilling or roasting meats, and in other culinary applications....

s or grill
Grill
-In food:* Barbecue grill, a device or surface used for cooking food, usually fuelled by gas or charcoal, or the part of a cooker that performs this function.* Grilling, a form of cooking that involves direct heat....

s. In some places, the meat is seasoned with salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 and a bit of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, there exists a similar tradition known as "parrilladas" which incorporates various marinated cuts of meat, including steaks, chicken, and sausages (longaniza
Longaniza
Longaniza is a Spanish sausage similar to a chorizo and also closely associated with the Portuguese linguiça. Its defining characteristics are interpreted differently from region to region...

, chorizo
Chorizo
Chorizo is a term encompassing several types of pork sausages originating from the Iberian Peninsula.In English, it is usually pronounced , , or , but sometimes ....

, and moronga
Moronga
Moronga, rellena, or morcilla is a sausage made of pig's blood. It is found in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central America and Mexican cuisine. Spices, herbs , onions and chile peppers are added and then boiled in the pig's intestines for several hours. It is served in a sauce, either "chile rojo" or "chile...

 being especially popular). These are all grilled over wood charcoal. Vegetables are also placed over the grill, especially green onions (cebollitas), nopales, and corn (elote
Elote
Elote , is the Mexican name for corn on the cob. They are a popular street food in Mexico, although they are frequently served at home prepared in the same way . In Mexico, Chicago, and the southern U.S., it is customary to consume elotes on a stick, or by grasping the husk of the cob that has been...

).

Again in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 and Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 some alternatives are the asado al disco and asado al horno de barro, specially in the countryside. The recipe doesn't change, only the way of cooking. In the asado al disco the worn out disc of a plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

 is used. Being metallic and concave, three or four metallic legs are welded and with hot coal or lumber below its easily transformed into a very effective grill. Food is put in a spiral, in such a way that the fat naturally slips to the center, preserving the meat for being fried. Chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s and onions are usually put next to the edge, so that they gradually release their juices on the meat. The asado al horno de barro differs from tradition, as an horno
Horno
Horno is a mud adobe-built outdoor oven used by Native Americans and early settlers of North America. Originally introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors, it was quickly adopted and carried to all Spanish-occupied lands. The horno has a beehive shape and uses wood as the only heat source...

 (adobe oven) is used. These primitive ovens are a common view in Argentine estancias
Estancias
Estancia or Estância is a Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese term describing a large rural estate with similarities to the English term ranch. The term is used in Argentina, Uruguay and southern Chile...

, and their primary function is to bake bread, but they are well suited for roasting meat. Pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 suckling and, less commonly, lamb are served, as they are more unlikely to get dry. Though not technically a grill, it is a very traditional way of cooking that still requires the great skills of an asador and the gathering of family and friends, which are the essence of an Asado. Moreover, the smoky flavour and tenderness of these dishes are very appreciated.

See also

  • Cuisine of Argentina
    Cuisine of Argentina
    Argentine cuisine may be described as a cultural blending of indigenous Mediterranean influences with the wide scope of livestock and agricultural products that are abundant in the country...

  • Cuisine of Uruguay
  • Cuisine of Chile
    Cuisine of Chile
    Chilean cuisine stems mainly from the combination of Spanish cuisine with traditional Chilean ingredients, with later influences from other European cuisines, particularly from Germany, Italy, Croatia, France and the Middle East. The food tradition and recipes in Chile stand out due to the...

  • Argentine beef
    Argentine beef
    Beef is a key component of traditional Argentine cuisine.-Current situation:Argentina has the world's second highest consumption rate of beef, at 55 kg a year per capita. In 2006, livestock farmers kept between 50 and 55 million head of cattle, mostly in the fertile pastures of the Pampas...

  • Barbecue
    Barbecue
    Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

  • Char siu
    Char siu
    Char siu , otherwise known as barbecued meat in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat...


External links

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