Before setting off for Antarctica in December 2006, we expeditioners spent a few days in our port city, Ushuaia—the southernmost city in Argentina, and the closest in the world to Antarctica via the Drake Passage.
It was here I had my first introduction to a lifelong obsession: the Argentinian asado. The traditional asado is a four-hour method for grilling meat that locks in the succulent flavor and moisture without adding much additional seasoning except salt. Here, they made lamb in an upright position, but most at-home asados take place horizontally, over a three-foot long grill, out of convenience. The one thing they always have in common? Open fire.
The typical side dishes at an asado are other meats, such as chorizo or morcilla (blood sausage). Salad consists of chopped lettuce, cubed tomatoes and sometimes onions—in three separate bowls—each with vegetable oil drizzled over the top. Though potatoes aren’t as common, they were an accoutrement at this asado, likely to satisfy the tourists’ palate.
Serve your asado with red wine or a stiff drink (may I recommend Fernet Branca and Coca Cola?) and spend all day at the table enjoying the company. (It will take that long to consume all that cordero!)
-Tara for TKGO
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