This is an emergency post in response to a comment from my dear mother on the nature of asado. First off, it’s important to know that all argentines eat meat literally all the time, in massive quantities, which they buy from a carneceria (literally translated as meatery) and cook on a grill (called a parrilla) over burning coals. My lesson (muchas gracias a David y Daniel) proceeded as follows:
1. Build a fire in a vented tin can, so as to heat the coals inside (also purchased from the meatery)
2. While coals are heating, clean grill with bits of frozen fat.
3. Spread only the hottest coals underneath the parrilla. Once you can hold your hand directly over the metal for about fifteen seconds before it starts burning, it’s ready to go.
4. Ready the meat by rubbing in chimichurri (sauce made of garlic, jalapenos, onions, and other good things), then lay on the parrilla. The meat should NOT be cut into edible portions yet, and there should be enough to feed at least four times the number of people actually eating :P.
5. After about half an hour, the meat is ready to flip. Note: flipping an entire chicken is extremely difficult.
(Note from Sara: the look on a porteño’s face as a Canadian attempts to flip an entire chicken is extremely entertaining!)
6. Another half hour and the asado is ready to go. Cut into portions and balance the impressive heap on a plate. Bring into the eagerly awaiting comereros (‘eaters’…no, really, it’s a word!) who will traditionally applaud your arrival. Enjoy, possibly with a small side of lettuce and tomatoes as a polite nod to the fact that there are some other food groups out there besides meat. But who cares about those?