Tapa de nalga (top round cap/topside cap) is the cap of the top round cut that comes from the round primal cut. The various cuts from the round primal are fairly tough and lack intra-muscular fat, therefore, are better off left to slow cooking. Due to the lack of fat, round’s cuts are great for milanesas or beef jerky and top round in particular is a good subsitute for brisket when making pastrami. Top round is usually sold “cap off” in many countries, with the cap discarded for other purposes, leaving a nice clean “roast” of top round. However, this is Argentina and discarded cuts tend to make their way on to the parrilla. Tapa de nalga is not a leading parrilla cut but it turns out reasonably well if cooked properly.
Chingolo or Palomita (chuck tender in the U.S.), is a cut of beef that consists of the entire supraspinatus muscle which lies laterally to the shoulder blade bone. Contrary to what you may be thinking about a cut with tender as part of its name, chuck tender is anything but tender. Slow cooking, as with many other cuts from the chuck, is needed in order to turn that toughness into tenderness. For this cut, braising or stewing is typically the cooking method of choice due to the low amount of fat. However, when properly cooked on a parrilla you will be rewarded with a delicious chunk of meat full of rich beefy flavor.
Like how there is chuck and chuck, there is aguja and aguja. Huh? Let me explain. There is chuck the primal cut which comes from the shoulder area with some of the neck and ribs included and, from this primal cut, there is a section of muscles that form what is called the chuck roll cut. (This section runs above the shoulders, along the back, from part of the neck to where the rib eye cut begins. From the chuck roll you get the roasts or steaks known as chuck eye, chuck, tender, and under blade. At times the chuck roll and its various cuts are simply truncated down to chuck steaks or chuck roasts. The same can happen to other cuts within the chuck primal cut but more often than not they are labeled as their proper names such as blade roast, cross-rib roast, 7-bone roast, etc. Confusing, right?
Click Here For The Matambre Challenge Overview The Challenger In Round Three Is: Salted Matambre One and a half years have passed since the last challenge and after the long painful process of getting my jaw to once again function properly, through strenuous physical therapy, the time has come for the third Matambre Challenge. For [...]
There was an interesting little piece in the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Journal this past weekend about Argentinean and Uruguayan barbecue titled, “Love and Barbecue,” by Katy Mclaughlin. To sum it up, the author describes her transformation from being one who would admonish those who cooked a steak past medium or who grilled inferior cuts to a lover of the Argentinean style of barbecue. Although Mclaughlin only had to head to Queens to come to these realizations, I had to travel almost halfway across the world.
Before I moved to Argentina I had almost the same ideology that Mclaughlin once had. I too couldn’t see why anyone would want their steaks cooked over medium. With the flames that shot out of the grills I previously cooked on, steaks would have burned to a crisp if they were cooked for more than a few minutes each side. Same hideous creature would be placed in front of me at a restaurant, if requested well done, and sometimes that happened without making such a request. Roast cuts were meant for slow cooking. If beef ribs came out tough, they didn’t bother me but I didn’t enjoy them either. I have always been a fan of beef jerky so it wasn’t just about toughness.
For those in the U.S. and Canada looking for humanely-treated bovine products from start to finish and grass-fed beef, I found this great resource via Serious Eats via The Kitchn’s Good Beef: How to Find Local Meat. Eatwild Directory of Farms has an extensive list of farms that is, according to them, “the most comprehensive [...]
Grab yourself a chunk of bife ancho. Have it? Good. Now slice off the spinalis dorsi, longissimus costarum, and multifidus dorsi. Please be careful with the spinalis dorsi, that’s special. Ask any beef aficionado and they’ll tell you that it is one of “the” most tender muscles off of our beloved beef providers. Now, if [...]
(Cooked for about 25 minutes per side over a medium fire.) If it were not for travel guides, acquaintances, or menu translations, I wonder how many first time visitors to Argentina would bypass bife de chorizo thinking it to be some sort of Argentinean sausage version of the hamburger steak. Instead, moving on to other [...]
Colita De Cuadril is known in English as tri-tip, sirloin bottom, or tip roast. The exact same thing, not one of those cuts that are similar yet cut differently like vacio and flank steak. You can roast it, grill it, or smoke it. Slice it up for stir-fry. Grind it up for hamburger meat. Cube [...]
Click Here For The Matambre Challenge Overview Reminder Remember this is half fun and half research. The results of this challenge may not be indicative of whether or not these methods of preparation do what they are supposed to do. Sometimes you just get a poor quality cut of meat that nothing can defeat yet [...]