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Asado is a South American social practise and technique for cooking cuts of meat, usually consisting of beef alongside various other meats, which are cooked on a grill (parrilla) or open fire. Asado is the traditional dish of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil.

An asado typically has a sequence of meats presented by the asador or parrillero (the cook). First are the chorizos, morcillas (black pudding), chinchulines (chitterlings), mollejas (sweetbread) and other organs, often accompanied by provoleta, a grilled cheese dish. Sometimes these are served on a coal-heated brasero. Then costillas or asado de tira (ribs) are served. Next comes vacio (flank steak), matambre and possibly chicken and chivito (baby goat). If you are travelling to the area, "Chivito" in Argentina means baby goat, and in Uruguay it's a beef sandwich with cheese, ham, bacon, boiled eggs, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and onions, unrelated to the Asado. Dishes such as the Uruguayan Pamplona, pork and Patagonian lamb are becoming more frequent, particularly in restaurants. An asado also includes bread, a simple mixed salad of, for instance, lettuce, tomato and onions, or it could be accompanied with verdurajo (grilled vegetables), a mixture made of potatoes, corn, onion and eggplant cooked on the parrilla and seasoned with olive oil and salt. Beer, wine, soda and other beverages are common. Dessert is usually fresh fruit.

An asado can be made al asador 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 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 (parrilla) is placed over with the meat to be cooked.

Another traditional form to mainly roast the meat, used in the Argentine and Chilean Patagonias, is with the whole animal (specially 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 2 hours to cook an asado. Further, grease from the meat is not encouraged to fall on the coals and create smoke which would adversely flavour the meat, indeed 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, a sauce of chopped parsley, dried oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, onion, and paprika with olive oil. or salsa criolla, a sauce of tomato and onion in vinegar, are common accompaniments to an asado, where they are traditionally used on the offal, but not the steaks.


In Chile, the local version of the asado is usually accompanied with pebre, a local condiment made from pureed herbs, garlic and hot peppers; in many ways similar to chimichurri.

This is not to be confused with asado in the Philippines which is a dish cooked in a sweet tomato-based stew that is usually accompanied by potatoes, carrots and other vegetables. Being true to its distinct East-meets-West cultural roots, Philippine asado is also used as a filling in siopao, a Philippine version of baozi. There is also Chinese asado in the Philippines, which really refers to dried sweetmeats as well as dried red-colored meats with sweet taste.

In Brazil, asado is called churrasco, and although the method of cooking is similar, it is seasoned with Brazilian spices. Charcoal is predominantly used instead of embers of wood, and Brazilians tend to cook the meat on skewers. In some places, the meat is seasoned with salt and a bit of sugar.

In Mexico, there exists a similar tradition known as "parrilladas" which incorporates various marinated cuts of meat, including steaks, chicken, and sausages . These are all grilled over wood charcoal. Vegetables are also placed over the grill, especially green onions (cebollitas), nopales, and corn (elote).

Again in Argentina and Uruguay some alternatives are the asado al discoand asado al horno de barro'', specially in the countryside. The recipe doesn't change, only the way of cooking the meat and ofalls. In the asado al disco the worn out disc of a plough is used. Being metallic and concave, three or four metallic legs are welded and with hot coal or lumber below it's easily transformed into a very effective grill. Meat and ofalls are put in spiral, in such a way that the fat naturally slips to the center, preserving the meat for being fried. Chili 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 traditional asado, as an horno (adobe oven) is used. These primitive ovens are a common view in Argentine estancias, and their primary function is to bake bread, but they are well suited for roasting meat. Pork 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 asado. Moreover, the smoky flavour and tenderness of this dish are very appreciated.

See also

Cuisine of Argentina

Cuisine of Uruguay

Cuisine of Chile

Argentine beef


External links

Argentine Barbecue

asado in israel

Sample recipe from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Asado Argentina

Cafe Columbus This article is half in Spanish, half in English.

From Uruguay - Asado (English)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Asado

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