Barbecues are loved in many countries and the season is starting. In South Africa, they invite you to a braai, in Argentina and Chile to an asado. What’s so special about an asado? Is it like any barbecue party, except that it is, of course, mandatory to drink Malbec?
There are actually some specific asado “rules”. Number one is that you have to have different pieces of meat on the grill. Of course, all the meat comes from the Argentine cattle. However, you do see pork meat occasionally and pork sausage should be included on the grill. And blood sausage (the Argentineans love them). And, as I said, different cuts of meat, such as beef ribs, flank steak, thick cuts of beef, sweetbread or other offal if you want. In Chile they often add a selection of pork and chicken.
You start the fire well in advance. If you have beef ribs you start it well before the guests arrive. Beef ribs take some time to grill but they will turn out wonderfully juicy and tasty.
When the guests gather, you serve some wine, of course and some snacks. It could be cheese, cured ham, chorizo, olives, freshly baked empanadas.
Rule number two is that the meat should be grilled slowly.
The third rule is that when you are about to start eating, the guests sit down at the table. The salads are already there. You can do just tomatoes and onion if you want to keep in simple. And more wine is served. You serve the meat one type of cut at a time. Never everything at once. You serve the sausages first, then the offal (if you have any), then a portion of flank steak, a portion of ribs, a portion of beef, etc.
One more fundamental rule: you barbecue over an open fire or hot coal, never, never, never, in a covered “barbecue” (like a Weber). That does not count as grilling.
You can see plenty of pictures and videos on our Chile-Argentina wine tour Facebook group.