Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Argentinean Grass-Fed Beef and Lamb

One of the highlights of my trip to Argentina was the meat, which is grass-fed, delicious and available everywhere.

Ubiquitous are parillas, restaurants that center around a huge charcoal or wood-fired grill and offer a wide variety of meats and cuts.

The most popular cut of beef is bife de chorizo (sirloin), but my favorite was ojo de bife (rib eye), which I ate twice. Both times, thankfully, there was plenty of fat on the steak.

Seasoning is simple (usually just salt). Often accompanying the meat is chimic
hurri—a powerful blend of herbs, garlic and oil—which I thought was better eaten on bread rather than the meat.

I also loved the chorizo (sausage) which was juicy and flavorful. (Think a thicker sausage, not a dried Spanish chorizo.)

As we traveled further south, lamb became more popular. Lamb is cooked a little differently than other meats. The animal is cut open lengthwise, spread open, tied to a stake and cooked over an open fire. Twice I had a lamb plate, which consisted of several different cuts, including lamb chops, ribs and crisp skin. I could eat crisp lamb skin for the rest of my life.

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