Argentinian barbecue is one of the menus that represents this country, not only for the quality or taste of its meats, but also for the magic that takes place in the cooking process. Moreover, this menu is not prepared just for one person. When a barbecue is organised, the whole family and friends get together, creating a very special atmosphere around the barbecue.
Grill chefs are passionate about grilling meat and vegetables. For them, the choice of the cuts that will be part of the barbecue is as important as the quality of the wood or charcoal and the ingredients that will be part of “la picada” that will be shared while the fire does its work. For all this passion and attention to the smallest detail, the grill chefs are recognised with a round of clap when the barbecue is served.
The tradition of having an Argentinean barbecue is not only about sharing some ribs with grilled vegetables and salads, it is about spending a pleasant moment with the people we love. So when we think about the secrets of the real Argentinian barbecue, we should not only include the tricks that the most experienced barbecue chefs let us know, but all those that are part of the ritual that is generated around it, which is passed from generation to generation.
If you wish to visit Patagonia, we recommend you to stay at Los Cauquenes Hotel, where you will be able to enjoy a good Argentinian barbecue and other regional delicacies.
The secrets of the authentic Argentinian barbecue
Choice of meat
The first secret of every grill chef to get an excellent result is to choose quality meat. According to what the animal ate and how it lived, the meat will be of quality or not. That is why it should be bought from a trusted butcher.
Among the most popular cuts are the “vacío”, the rib and the “bife de chorizo”. To cook the bife de chorizo it is recommended to cook it with high heat on both sides to seal it. Then lower the heat so that the inside cooks in its own juices and is not dry. On the other hand, the rib should be cooked on a low heat, so that the inside is well cooked.
Charcoal or wood
Depending on the size of the cuts of meat, charcoal or wood is used for cooking. Wood provides a gentler heat than charcoal. What is not disputed is that both wood and charcoal must be well lit before placing the meat on the grill.
Each cut needs a different intensity of fire and as the heat from the coals is not homogeneous, each piece of meat is placed strategically on the grill according to its size and type.
Large cuts need less heat so that they cook slowly and don’t get burnt, so they are usually placed on the edges of the grill. Smaller cuts, on the other hand, need to be cooked faster, so they are usually placed in the centre of the grill or closer to the fire. This way you will receive the right intensity of heat that you need, so that all the cuts are ready at the same time.
Another very important factor in choosing between charcoal and wood is the flavour it brings to the meat. So, if we decide to use firewood, it must be dry and if we choose charcoal, it must be of good quality.
Meat should be seasoned to enhance its flavour, there is no doubt about that. The most recurrent questions are whether to season before, during or after cooking and which seasonings to use.
There are many different theories on this question. Some of them say that their secret is to place salt on the side of the meat that will go on the fire, in order to generate a better crust. Others, on the other hand, say that you should salt the cooked side, once the cut is turned over, so that the salt does not penetrate the meat and dry it out on the inside.
Sometimes sauces with different ingredients are added to enhance the flavour of the meat. Salads are the ideal accompaniment.
Picada and wine
Among the secrets of making a good Argentinian barbecue, there is also the topping that should be given to the person who cooks the barbecue. This is a “picada” that includes cuts of cheese and different types of cold cuts, accompanied by a white wine.
When the first cuts come out, it is accompanied with a rosé wine, because the ones that are cooked first are the leanest cuts. Once the roast is ready and is brought to the table, “A clap for the grill chef!” is loudly requested. Now all that remains is to enjoy this exquisite Argentinian barbecue with a glass of red wine in the presence of friends.
How about enjoying a real Argentinian barbecue watching the Beagle channel as if you were sitting in the front row? These are just some of the benefits offered by Los Cauquenes Hotel and Resort.
It is undoubtedly the best accommodation alternative because it is located in the southernmost tip of Patagonia, Ushuaia, right in front of the Beagle channel. A great opportunity to enjoy the regional and international gastronomy surrounded by luxury, comfort and a unique landscape.