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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Pinoy Asadores 101

Last Saturday was work day for us so we had to do something fun in the evening to make up for the slightly lost weekend. Our boss thought of having a parrilla at his place (technically, it’s for the whole building but the grill is just across his apartment unit). He assumed that the portero (or any Uruguayan man) could be our asador (the one who will do the barbecue) but no luck. We ended up doing it on our own and tried to be a Uruguayan as best as we could.

Below is our attempt in pictures:

1. There are to two types of wood to consider. One is very thin and could easily burn. This is the type of wood that has to go first in the small slot of the grill.

2. The big woods, on the other hand, are the ones that turn into charcoal. Both woods can be bought from the supermarket.

3. Sprinkle some fire starter in the wood. Ours is a gel-like liquid that our boss calls “lubricant”.

4. Use a special matchstick (acendedores).

5. Start the fire first with the thin woods.

6. Then start piling up the big woods on top of the thin ones.

7. Usually, the parrillas here have two tools to use. One is like a hook that is used to spread the charcoal from the slot to the rest of the grill and the other is like a small shovel. Utilize accordingly.

8. The traditional Uruguayan way is to wait for like five hours to create the charcoal as it will naturally drip from the slot. Since we didn’t have enough time (it was already 8pm), we had no choice but to play around and bang the slot to force the charcoal to drip.

9. Spread the charcoal all over the grill.

10. Once the grill becomes hot, clean it with an old newspaper.

11. Start putting the meat (steaks, chorizo, morcilla, molleja, etc.) and other food (red bell pepper, etc.) on the grill.

12. Manage the grill properly. Spread more charcoal where it is needed. There’s a portion on the grill that is movable and it’s there for a purpose.

13. After a few minutes, put some special salt (parrillera sal entrefina) on the meat.

14. Optionally, you can set garlic in a foil on fire, as in on top of the charcoal just beneath the grill. Some are doing it with potatoes and even eggs.

15. To keep the charcoals burning, fan it with, err, a tray.

16. Make sure that your chimney is working, of course.

17. Check on the meat from time to time.

18. In between, have some beer.

19. Or prepare some salad.

20. Serve the meat when ready.

21. Enjoy the food. In Spanish, “Buen provecho!”

22. And enjoy more meat.

23. Take a rest when already full.

24. Or sleep.

25. Or dip your feet in the nearby pool.

26. Or invade the fridge full of Häagen-Dazs.

27. Just make sure to clean the parrilla before leaving the place.

The rest of the pics here. Plus, some pics here taken at Parrilla del Solis and a relaxing walk along the rambla here.

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