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All About Argentine Beef!

Simon Staedeli

Argentina is not only famous for it’s great Argentine beef, but also their traditional “Asados”. Asado is what we call in English a BBQ, but it’s not your usual American/British garden BBQ in the summer. The Argentine Asado is sacred ritual. Get the lowdown on the different cuts and pick up a good Malbec from the store and any native Argentine will be inviting you to their Asados before long!

According to the Washington Post, Argentina is the country that consumes the most beef in the world at an average of 140 pounds per person (this is more than 50% than the average US American!). I’ve found that there really is a difference in texture and taste. This is to do with: how the cows feed, the time the meat is aged and the cooking technique.  Just like Aberdeen Angus, the Argentine beef is famous worldwide. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal preference.

Argentine Beef & Others Main Differences:

USA/UK & Others  

  • Cows fed on grain
  • Meat aged a few days, in many restaurants aged weeks.
  • Cooked to serve rare/medium-rare. Cooked mostly on the outside and less within.

Argentina

  • Cows graze outdoors and feed on grass
  • Meat not aged. Usually consumed the day of being sold to the butchers.
  • Cooked over a much longer period of time
  • “T bone” is divided into Boneless Lomo and “Small Steak Costeleta”.

Many have their arguments and opinions on the health and environmental aspects of Grass/Grain feeding. Generally grass-fed beef will have a lower fat content, have less flavour but with more beefiness. Grain-fed Argentine beef is considered to have a more consistent taste.

Typical Dishes

Chorizo – Sausage (not spicy like the US chorizo)

Bife de chorizo – sirloin steaks (nothing to do with the sausage)

Ojo de Bife – Classic Ribeye steak

Chinchulines – Small Intestine

If you go walking around the city, especially near the Reserva Ecologica, be sure to try a choripan. This is basically a hotdog but with a chorizo sausage, baguette bread, and a homemade traditional dressing. A milanesa is also a very traditional meat dish in breadcrumbs you should try during your trip to Argentina.

Names of the cuts

Garron Shank
Tortuguita Leg of beef
Peceto Round Roll
Cuadrada Silverside
Bola de Lomo Thick Flank
Colita de cuadril Tail
Nalga de Adentro Top Side
Corazon Cuadrill Eye of Rump
Tapa Cuadril Cap of Rump
Tapa Bife Ancho Rib Cap
Aguja Sin Tapa Middle Rib
Tapa Aguja Middle Rib Cap
Lomo Sin Cordón Tenderloin
Carnaza de paleta Arm Clod
Marucha Shoulder Clod
Chingolo Chuck Tender
Vacio Flank
Matambre Rose Meat
Asado 13 Costillas Short rib/long rib
Entraña Fina Diaphragm
Falda Naval

3 Traditional dressings:

  • Salsa provenzal: mix of garlic-parsley and olive oil .
  • Salsa Criolla: Onions, peppers and tomatos in olive oil and vinegar or lemon/lime juice.
  • Chimicurri: This a fav amongst the Argentines at any Asado. Partner with a Choripan or any bife

Our recommendation for your next parrilla visit: try the “bife de lomo” and order it “a punto”. Get yourself a bottle of Malbec and a side of salad or fries. If you go with a group, order some vacio and mix it up, (chinchulines for the brave!).

Come to Argentina, and experience for yourself this steak heaven! If you stay in one of our homestays or come to our bi-weekly events, this could be your dinner!


 

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