Deconstructing the Barbecue

The sum of all pleasures, prepared over coals

Gustar

Restaurant y parrilla (2021-01-23/2021-01-24) by Julián GómezGustar

The essentials

The contents of a barbecue can be adjusted to suit any budget, although there are a few essentials, including sausage, blood sausage, ribs, and flank steak. It may also include provoleta (a cheese very similar to provolone), as well as offal, sweetbreads, chitterlings, and kidneys.

Restaurante de campo (2021-02-24/2021-02-24) by Juan Pablo LanciottiGustar

For sharing

The barbecue is an event to be shared with two to four other people, regardless of personal preferences. It usually includes the most representative local cuts of meat, although the contents can vary based on factors such as price and quality.

Parrillada (2021-02-21/2021-02-24) by Pablo ValdaGustar

The art of the fire

In Argentina, barbecues are usually prepared over burning wood or charcoal. Skillful handling of the fire is one of the secrets to its success. The coals should not be too hot, so as not to ruin the cuts of meat.

Parrillada (2021-02-21/2021-02-24) by Pablo ValdaGustar

Classic and contemporary

The barbecue, among other grilled meat dishes, is often the headliner on restaurant menus. In recent years, impacted by the boom in gourmet gastronomy, new cuts, matured meat, and a diversity of flavors have been incorporated.

Kidneys

Among the assortment of cattle guts are kidneys. They have their fans, but there are also those who are less keen, who turn their noses up at offal based on preconceptions. Kidneys offer a high level of nutrients and are a delicacy when cooked until crispy, and topped with a squeeze of lemon.
 

Chitterlings

Constantly defended by meat-eaters, chitterlings (large intestines) require skilled grill chefs. They should be served with a golden, glistening crust, tender on the inside, and without any chewiness.

Sausages

A barbecue can do without offal; while exquisite, it is less commonly found on menus or at family barbecues. However, a barbecue is not a barbecue without a choripan (hot dog) to start off the ceremony.  

Parrillada (2021-02-21/2021-02-24) by Pablo ValdaGustar

Beef and chicken

A traditional barbecue must include short ribs and flank steak. However, in recent years, other cuts have been included, such as rump steak, skirt steak, sirloin steak, and tenderloin. It is also traditional to include chicken breasts or thighs.

Blood sausage

Among the cold cuts, the second most important is the blood sausage. This is always located on a corner of the grill, where the heat warms it through, given it does not require cooking. 

Pork

Beef is imperative in its presence, flavor, and history, but pork sticks its snout in at any barbecue, especially cuts like brisket, spare ribs, or the increasingly popular cold cut known as bondiola.

Restaurante de campo (2021-02-24/2021-02-24) by Juan Pablo LanciottiGustar

Ribs

Grilled ribs, either whole or split, are one of the most appetizing options for both locals and tourists. They are more readily found on grills in the countryside, in the outskirts of the big cities, or on gourmet grills designed especially for tourists.

Chuck ribs

Chuck ribs were born from the rejects from the English meat processing plants established in the late 19th century. As they were exporting bone-less meat, whole ribs were discarded, so the workers would take these ribs home. And a passion was born.

Parrillada (2021-02-21/2021-02-24) by Pablo ValdaGustar

Kidneys a la provencal

They spruce up the appetizers. Menus often offer them as a main dish. In both cases, kidneys a la provencal have earned their place in demand, with chopped parsley and garlic, olive oil, black pepper, and salt. They are quickly devoured.

Restaurant y parrilla (2021-01-23/2021-01-24) by Julián GómezGustar

Provoleta

The immigrants were so eager to include an Italian cheese on the barbecue that they created provoleta, similar to provolone, and made in such a way that it does not melt or drip between the grills. Today it is a fixture.

Restaurant y parrilla (2021-01-23/2021-01-24) by Leo LibermanGustar

Sweetbreads

Another offal product that reigns supreme on the grill, and is growing in popularity, are sweetbreads. A growing presence on high-class restaurant menus, the glands dance over the coals until crispy, and then a squeeze of lemon is added.

Puesto de comida (2021-01-15) by Pablo ValdaGustar

Vegetables

 Barbecues also evolve. Vegetables are earning their place on the grill little by little, far from the punitive eye of the gauchos with their knives, who were used to the concept of meat, bread, and wine.
 

Puesto de comida (2021-01-15) by Pablo ValdaGustar

Vegetables II

Sweet peppers, eggplant, corn, and potatoes are laid directly onto the coals, and sweet potatoes and tomatoes glisten in the light of the fire. Meanwhile, on the table, there is a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and onion, to accompany everything else.

Credits: Story

Editing: Diego Marinelli/Text: Aníbal Mendoza

Credits: All media
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