Argentina: Asado

In Argentina, they have perfected the art of cooking with fire. There is a famous Argentinian chef named Francis Mallmann and I was first introduced to Argentina in the show “Mind of a Chef” where he his featured.

Here is an excerpt from that show, where he talks about the different ways to cook with fire.

Since it is approximately very cold outside, we did not pull out our grill or dust the snow off of our fire pit for this dinner. I broke with authenticity and made dinner inside. It was still delicious and I was so happy I was able to create some authentic flavors on the stove and in the oven!

So. What was on the menu? Steak, chimichurri sauce, potatoes and green beans (because you always need a vegetable!)

Patagonia Potatoes

These potatoes are simple and so tasty, you really get to enjoy the potato flavor. You can even add a little chimichurri sauce to take them to the next level 🙂

  • 4 russet potatoes washed and cut into 1/2″ medallions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

Method

Mix the oil and spices together and toss with potatoes. Lay the medallions on a baking sheet or baking stone in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes on 400F.

Cast Iron Steak

  • Steaks
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • meat thermometer
  • cast iron skillet

Method

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add about 3 Tbs of butter (give or take a Tbs). Salt and pepper the steaks on both sides, then once the butter is melted and the pan is hot place the steaks in the pan and leave them alone for 3 minutes- fight the urge and do not move them around. After 3 minutes, flip them and repeat for another 3 minutes. This next part depends on the thickness of your steaks, pick the thickest one and check the internal temperature with the meat thermometer. The goal is based on preference:

  • 125 F= rare
  • 135 F= medium rare
  • 145 F= medium
  • 150 F= medium well
  • 160 F= well done

I prefer the 135-140 range when I’m cooking at home. If the steak is not done to your liking you can put it in a 350 F oven for 5 minutes or add more butter, and repeat the process- cook for 3, flip, cook for 3 and check the temperature.

Once the preferred temp is reached remove the steaks from the pan and cover with tin foil to rest while you prepare whatever is left.

Chimichurri Sauce

There are so many different recipes for this all purpose condiment, but I really enjoy this one. By simply adding chimichurri sauce to steak or potatoes the meal is transported, and becomes a true taste of Argentina. This recipe was originally from Deanna Cook’s Global Feast kids cookbook.

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups fresh parsley (leaves only)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Place the garlic in a food processor and roughly chop. Next add the parsley, oregano, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Process till finely chopped, you may need to scrape down the sides a few times. Next add the oil while the blade is running to emulsify the sauce. Once it’s smooth place it in an air tight container and allow it to sit for 2 hours or up to 1 week in the fridge.

Happy cooking friends! Amigos felices cocinando!

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