Join Chef Julie Hernandez-Roberts as she prepares the sides for our delicious Thanksgiving Feast.
Join Chef Julie Hernandez-Roberts for the first episode of The Gaucho Grills Show, as she grills up some Turkey Legs and Fire Kissed Cranberry Sauce
When we talk about Argentine cooking on this blog, we often make the point that there isn’t a lot of seasoning in play in many of the recipes we share.
Often, the only spice at work in these dishes is the most basic and essential one there is: salt.
Today, we’re going to look at a new element of Argentine cooking called salmuera. Salmuera simply means “brine,” or a highly-concentrated solution of salt in water. Unlike regular salt, this brine won’t toughen your meats.
Compared to sausage, steaks and chicken, fish can seem like a minor league player trying to compete against a team of all-stars.
And yes, flounder cooked in a pan in your kitchen is no match for a nice thick steak at a backyard barbecue. But put fish on your Gaucho Grill, and all bets are off. Grilling brings out the best in fish. Here are a few tips to get started.
We got our company’s name from the gauchos, rough-and-tumble Argentinian cattlemen who cooked their meat on makeshift grills. And while we weren’t on hand for those long-ago Latin barbecue celebrations, we’d say it’s a safe bet the gauchos didn’t head out to Home Depot to buy charcoal. They cooked over wood.
They had the right idea. Wood smoke gives your food an amazing flavor, but it’s also something of a challenge, writes Oliver Schwaner-Albright in The New York Times.
“Grilling over a wood fire is as much a sport as an art — it’s more instinctive than cooking with a gas grill, more nuanced than cooking with charcoal, and more athletic than both.”
If you think this is something you’re ready to tackle, here are some rules to follow for your next Latin barbecue:
Regardless of whether you’ve ever visited Argentina, there’s a good chance you’re nevertheless aware of just how significant a role the consumption of meat plays in the country’s culinary culture. What you may not be familiar with, however, is the enormous popularity of a particularly Argentine style of barbecuing.
Known as an asado, it’s an hours-long outdoor cookout that isn’t entirely unlike an American barbecue experience. Still, there are several significant differences, not the least of which is the food and drink itself. At an asado meal, you can expect to enjoy high-quality cuts of meat ranging from sirloin and flank steaks to a succulent rack of ribs. Sausage, chicken, and even carefully prepared appetizers known as achuras may also make an appearance.
Another significant difference between the American-style barbecues you and I are used to and an asado cookout is the beverage of choice. Cans of beer and pitchers of sweet iced tea aren’t generally a part of an Argentine barbecue. Instead, you can expect to encounter red wine—and lots of it—in varying degrees of quality.
If you’d like to host a genuine asado meal of your own, keep reading to learn which wines you’ll want to pair with which meats.
Even if you know almost nothing at all about grilling or cooking, you’re probably still aware that the world of cuisine is a world of trends. Whether they’re short-lived fads or decades-long movements, there seems to always be something trendy on offer to engage and inspire the zealous gourmand.
One of the more popular cooking trends today involves grilling or otherwise preparing food with something known as a Himalayan salt block. Most Himalayan salt blocks are about two inches thick and roughly the length and width of a trade paperback book. And although they’re sometimes used for serving, these unusual grill salt blocks, as we like to call them, are more commonly used for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables. The blocks add a complex salt flavor to food, although juices and food debris tend to build up easily and stick stubbornly to the blocks when they’re used for cooking. Visit our blog for more tips on cooking with pink Himalayan salt blocks.
Because these blocks are literally made of salt, there are number of very important dos and don’ts to bear in mind where cleaning is concerned. The following tips will ensure that your grill salt block, which is surprisingly delicate, won’t become ruined because of cleaning.
The cook out is winding down. Your asado grill is cooling, guests have moved onto drinks and desserts, and you’re thinking about leftovers.
Specifically, the leftover beef. Cooking beef on an asado grill can give you steaks like nothing else you’ve tasted, but that doesn’t mean your leftovers need to be a letdown.
Here are a few Argentine-tinged beef dishes that you can make with whatever beef is leftover from your next cookout.
We’ve designed our Argentine grills to give you perfectly cooked cuts of meat. What you do with that meat after it leaves the grill is up to you. The way you cut a steak after it’s cooked plays as much of a role in your meal as the grilling process.
When you’ve taken the time to grill a nice piece of beef on your parrilla, you want to make sure that you take the proper steps to serve it correctly. Here are a meat cutting techniques and tips that will allow you to get the most out of your next meal.
In our last blog post, we talked about the mystery of where chimichurri got its name, as well as some of the misconceptions about this sauce.
(For example, it’s not “Argentinian ketchup.”)
There seems to be some debate online about whether chimichurri should only be used as a condiment, or can also function as an Argentine grilling marinade.
“While some recipes for chimichurri use it as a sauce, using it as a marinade opens up new flavors and tenderizes less tender cuts of meat,” writes Kathie Smith of The Blade. “In order to tenderize, a marinade must contain acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, yogurt, wine, or vinegar, or a natural tenderizing enzyme found in fresh papaya, ginger, pineapple, and figs, according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.”
So today we’re going to talk about marinades, by offering two different recipes for a marinade you can make the next time you’re ready to grill.
We’re writing this on a morning where our part of the country saw its first snowfall of the season. But we’re still an Argentine grill company, and our minds are on grilling.
More to the point, we’re thinking about how to clean one of our grills. Whether you’re a die-hard barbecue enthusiast who grills year-round, or someone who’s been avoiding an off-season clean, where’s what you need to know about maintaining your Argentine grill.
Our company’s name is Gaucho Grills, but you can use our products for more than just grilling.
You can buy one of our grills with a rotisserie grill attachment, which snaps in place with just a few quick steps. When you watch this video, you’ll see that it takes less than a minute to make the switch from grilling to rotisserie.
Simply lower and remove the V-groove grill grates, detach the grease trough and attach the rotisserie bar, and you’re ready to cook.
And when you cook rotisserie style, you’re engaging in a time-honored method of food preparation enjoyed all over the world, from people in Greece spit-roasting lamb to the delectable babi gulig (spit-roasted pig) found on the island of Bali to the American traditional backyard barbecue.
No matter how you cook, there’s something about cooking around a fire that brings people together, and there are many foods that seem designed for a rotisserie grill:
Rounded foods like turkey breasts, boneless legs of lamb
Artichokes, eggplant, squash, potatoes and other vegetables.
Fruits such as pineapple (your rotisserie can even make dessert!)
So what should you cook with the newly-installed rotisserie?
Glad you asked. As always, we’re happy to share some recipes.
“When we think of Argentine cuisine, we think of beef.”
Those were our words, about three months ago, right here on this blog.
And if you read most of our entries here, you know we love the idea of grilling a nice, juicy steak or a succulent piece of chicken.
But while meat might be the star of your cookout, it still needs its supporting cast. (You’ve also got your vegetarian guests to consider.)
With that in mind, we’ve put together a few suggestions for vegetable dishes and sides you can serve with your next asado meal.
It’s time to make your world class burger. The 80/20 Beef has been prepped and formed. Your parrilla grill is hot. The grilling starts out great, the smells and sizzle indicate you got the start you’re looking for. But it doesn’t take long to put you back into a familiar panicked battle; How to keep your gourmet burgers from becoming smoldering hockey pucks!?
Although used for thousands upon thousands of years, (See the Book of Job reference) today it seems like the use of salt has exploded in popularity more than ever. Try to find a seasoning or condiment that doesn’t advertise: “Made with all-natural sea salt.” Look and see how many pretty salt colors and flavors there are in your local spice shop or even grocery store. There are colored salts, flavored salts, smoked salts, salt cured meats, salt encrusted meats and fish, and on it goes. It’s even a hit in our desserts and coffees with “Sea-Salt Caramel” flavored everything.
So it was no surprise to us when we discovered the wonderful world of salts has now permeated into the grilling arena. Yes there are a thousand and one ways to season any of your grilled fare to perfection with salts. Recipes abound that call for all sorts of extravagant salted marinades and rubs. In addition, there perhaps is no better way to prepare a juicy grilled steak than to season it with a minimalist approach of some coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper. However we’ve recently come to embrace the fantastic salt infusing method of grilling on top of a Pink Himalayan Salt Block. For a salt lover, this is truly a unique way to go.
Over the past few months, we’ve been using this blog to teach readers their way around the world of Argentinian grilling. And now that you can walk the walk, we want you to be able to talk the talk, so to speak. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to Argentinean grilling terminology. The next time you host a cookout, you can impress your guests with your food and your lingo.
When we think of Argentine cuisine, we think of beef. The Spanish brought cattle to Argentina in the 1500s, and beef has been a key part of the national cuisine ever since.
But just as important to this equation is the asado.
We’d call it “the Argentine version of the cookout,” but that only sort of does it justice.
It’s actually a practice that goes deep into the country’s history, men known as gauchos—legendary cattle wrangling figures – cooked their meals on makeshift grills which were the original parrilla grills.
Ribs are a staple of the barbecue menu, no matter the hemisphere in which you find yourself dining.
But the way we prepare ribs in the U.S. and the way they’re made in a country like Argentina are two very different things.
When we make ribs here in America, we tend to cook them using a slow roast and a lot of basting.
Spring and summer have been a long time coming here in the Bucks and Montgomery County region, and it’s finally the right time of year to use your Argentine inspired Gaucho Grill. It seems as if every burst of golden sunshine over the past few weeks has been followed by a cold winter chill the next morning.
But have faith, Bucks and Montgomery County grillers! Long, humid weekend days and crisp summer nights are practically right around the corner. And if you’re anything like the team at Gaucho Grills, where our grills are inspired by the Latin tradition of slowly cooking meat over coals or wood embers, that means outdoor grilling, cooking and conversation will be part of your weekend routine before long as well.
If you’re going to be grilling with any sort of regularity this season, however, it’s crucial to bear in mind that early preparation will be your most valuable sous-chef. Waiting until the day of the season’s first grill is an amateur’s mistake. Keeping your Argentine grill in top working order throughout the season will require a bit of cleaning and standard upkeep here and there along the way.
None of this maintenance work needs to be particularly difficult, mind you. Simply follow the tips and suggestions listed below, and your asado-style grilling affairs will be the talk of the neighborhood for months to come.
Consider a Preseason Clean
If you’re up to the task of a thorough, all-over clean before the grilling season gets underway, you’ll be doing yourself, your grill, and your guests a big favor. This is a process that will extend the life of your grill, and go a long way toward improving the taste of the food cooked upon it, since charred residue is one of the main culprits of less-than-stellar grilled meals.
First, remove all of your Argentine grill’s detachable pieces, and then give them the luxury of a long wash in warm, soapy water. You’ll want to use a wire brush for most pieces. (When cleaning the grate, take care to move the wire brush in the same direction as the grate’s bars.)
If any of the pieces are especially caked with last season’s residue, you’ll want to let them soak in warm water for at least 20 minutes before attacking them with a brush. Finally, because there will likely be indistinguishable bits of soap residue remaining on various pieces, pre-heat your grill and let it sit for about 15 minutes once your cleaning job is complete. Any soap residue you didn’t manage to fully soak off will burn away in that time.
Clean Your Gaucho Grill After Each Use
Regardless of the type of grill you’re using, regular maintenance is the only sure-fire way to make sure it isn’t eventually ruined by residue buildup and rust spots. In plain language, that means properly cleaning it after each and every use. That’s a rule, by the way, that goes double for your Gaucho Grill’s V-groove grates, where bacteria can very easily build up if the grates are left dirty for any length of time.
Here are a few insider tips for achieving a thoroughly clean Argentine grill after each and every cookout:
Dip a paper towel in canola oil, and use it to clean your grill’s grate. Aside from giving it a meticulous clean, this process will also help prevent rusting.
A grill that’s warm (but not hot) is the easiest sort of grill to clean. But if you plan on using the canola oil trick to clean your grates (after scraping them with a wire brush, of course), you won’t want to hold the paper towel in your hand and potentially burn your fingers. Instead, hold the paper towel with a set of tongs. Wipe in the direction of the grates, just as you would with a wire brush.
Fine-grade steel wool can be used to give the outside of your grill a wonderfully clean appearance. Just make sure it’s doused in hot soapy water before you begin. Don’t feel like making an extra trip to the store for steel wool? A standard non-abrasive kitchen sponge can also be used to clean your grill’s exterior. Again, make sure to first soak it in hot soapy water.
If your grill’s exterior is covered in the sort of buildup that a kitchen sponge can’t get rid of, try using a non-lint terry cloth rag and standard glass cleaner.
Never forget that specific cleaning instructions can often vary from grill to grill. We understand that no one likes to read the owner’s manual, but in this case, doing so could mean the difference between a grill that lasts a lifetime and one that conks out after just one season.
Finally, if you are using any sort of attachment, such as the rotisseries attachments for our Latin-inspired grills, ensure that these are thoroughly cleaned, scrubbed and stored in the off-season.
To learn more about Gaucho Grills, and for information about purchasing a Gaucho of your very own, spend some time on our website, at gaucho-grills.com.