Where’s The Beef

by Liz Caskey on December 6, 2011

Grill Master, “Pelado,” from Estancia el Colibri in Córdoba, Argentina prepares his asado.

As a cook and foodie jumping between Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay on a regular basis, it has taken me a while to finally hash out the difference in cuts between what I grew up with in the US, what I prepare  in Chile, and what I dine on when in Argentina & Chile. Cuts of beef do considerably vary from country to country, so my intent in this post is to create this free chart as a resource for those of you scratching your head every time you head to the supermarket, an asado, or eat in a parrilla, grill.  This is NOT a discussion of grilling techniques, that’s another post entirely.

One cut that did not have an exact translation was Malaya and Matahambre. In the Southern Cone, they create tight rolls out of this flap of meat over the ribs, and stuff it with carrots, spinach, roasted red pepper, hard boiled egg, and poach it for a couple hours since it’s a tough cut of meat. You’ll commonly see it sliced down for cold cuts in delis or markets.

Another thing that also confuses the heck out of everyone is the doneness for steaks when dining out. There is nothing more tragic than a beautiful cut of grass-fed beef being transformed into a piece of shoe leather when it had all the potential to produce ecstasy for a carnivore. If you like your steak bleu, literally grilled 1 minute on each side, you can ask for it the same way in Chile & Argentina.

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