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.
Eventually this tradition migrated out of the grasslands into Argentinian homes. Today, asado means something more. It’s a social event, similar to the big family Sunday dinners some of us grew up with. Family and friends gather to enjoy various cuts of slow-cooked meats.
And instead of the typical propane grill, an asado meal is cooked over a parrilla, a grill heated with wood or coals. Beef is the star of the meal, of course, but menus can also include chorizo, sweetbreads, chicken and grilled vegetables.