Making a good asado is an art that any proud Argentine man must master (although there are women that make great asado too!). For this task, two elements are key, one, is the technique used for lighting the fire and the elements that will go in it (coal, wood chips…), and secondly is the knowledge of the different meat cuts and the different cooking points. Obviously, a tradition that is practiced and transmitted from generation to generation involves many different techniques which can’t all be mastered overnight, but you´ve got to start somewhere, so here it goes!
1- Clean the surface on which you will cook the meat.
2-Make 5-6 paper balls by crumpling newspaper.
3-Make a small wooden ‘building’ or jenga like structure around the paper balls using a discarded vegetable box or pieces of light wood. Make sure to leave enough space between the pieces of wood so that some air can pass through and enough open room on top so that you can later light the paper balls.
4-Put a circular pile of coal around the wood. (In the video, the coals were placed directly under the grill and under twigs so the fire spread and caught on.)
5-Light the paper balls making sure to watch if the twigs are lighting up.
6- Wait for the coal to catch and once the fire is out move some of the hot embers below the grill.
7- Start placing the meat, chorizos and other ‘achuras’ you may have decided to try (for a translation of meat cuts go here.)
8-Supervise the bottom of the meats and turn them around when they are toasty until the other side is toasty too. Add burning coal where you feel necessary, but keep in mind, asado is slow cooking method. Also keep in mind that some cuts and achuras cook faster than others. (Chorizos for example usually come out of the grill first).