I was with 20-30 other guys from the church last Saturday. This is the church we have attended while in language school. Every so often we come together to have a men’s asado. My wife will be meeting with other ladies from the church this Saturday and they will be having an asado. An asado is Argentine. Asados take place at birthdays, Christmas, any special holiday, family events, or even just a good Saturday/Sunday afternoon. It is not always “just for men” or “just for women”, it just happened to work out this way these two weekends. Living in Argentina means you will see, smell, and taste on a somewhat regular basis. I am told as the days get warmer asados are more often. It is a part of Argentine culture and for this we are very thankful!
So what is an asado? An asado is a few things. It is a grill out. There can be all kinds of meet from beef ribs, to a sort of grilled roast, to cow intestines, to different types of sausage, to a grilled pork roast, to chicken. It can be all, some, or just one of these types of meat. The meat is cooked on a parrilla (a grill) over small coals for a few hours. The smell is incredible and the taste is even better. I have walked out onto my back porch to the smell of one of our neighbor’s having an asado. Jealousy sets in, followed by regret that I hadn’t prepared for an asado, and finally a resolve to one day have an asado soon (which I rarely follow through on). Asado is also what Argentine’s call a type of meat that is eaten at an asado. It is the beef ribs (as far as I am concerned, it is the best part of the asado!) that are cut 3-4 inch pieces (see the incredible picture below). This is the stuff Argentine dreams are made of! I love it. It is not easy to do. I have tried twice since we have been here to only come up with something very chewy and not particularly tasty. But I have been to other asados where the meat was incredible. So what do we do at an asado? It is really just an excuse to be around friends and loved ones. We talk, the kids play, the men at the church have a devotion, it is really just an event to spend time with others, around delicious, slow-cooked meat!
Asados are as Argentine as can food can be. It is just another aspect of the rich culture we are experiencing as we learn the language and prepare to start churches and train men!