If you think that going to the local steakhouse will net you the best piece of steak you've ever had, think again! Let us introduce you to Argentinian beef. Lean, flavorful, and nutritious, this treat from South America makes a great skirt steak to BBQ at home.
What is Argentinian Beef?
"Argentina is an absolute mecca for meat-lovers, thanks to its grass-fed Pampas cows," Inspiring Vacations reported.
Beef is a big component of Argentinian cuisine. Cows were first brought over to Argentina by the Spanish, and have played a big role in Argentinian gastronomy since then, mostly in the form of the asado, or Argentinian BBQ. Argentina has the second-highest beef consumption rate per capita, making them grilled meat experts and kindred spirits with meat lovers in America. That's why we're venturing into their land to find out exactly what makes their beef so great, if not better than what you can find in the US.
They're called Pampas cows because they roam the land of pampas. All the grass in Argentina is nutritious, meaning that their cows only get the best. Gauchos (or farmers) have no need to use antibiotics because the cows are less likely to catch diseases to begin with. This makes these cows perfect for the parilla, or grill.
Argentinian beef cuts also factor into making their beef flavorful. Inspiring Vacations has the info here:
Flank steak or vacío: This is a unique Argentine cut with a thin layer of fat that creates an extra-crispy outside; the inside is tender but often a little chewy.
T-bone or bife de costilla: A distinctive cut also called a chuleta.
Rib-eye or ojo de bife: A reliable, well-marbled cut.
Rump steak or cuadril: A thin, everyday cut of beef.
Tenderloin or bife de lomo lomo: The crème de la crème of cuts, with minimal fat - if you like a well-marbled steak, this is probably not the best cut for you.
Sirloin or bife de chorizo: This is not a sausage, but a thick, fatty sirloin cut that's bursting with flavour; cheaper cuts will probably have more fat on them.
If none of these strike your fancy, you can also throw an entraña, or skirt steak onto your parrillas. This cut of meat is a little denser and harder to chew than most cuts, but makes for excellent taco meat when finely chopped.
Where Can You Get Argentinian Beef?
Check out Carne Collective! We did!
Carne Collective is as real as it gets, as in you're literally eating the real deal from an Argentinian native's collection. Fernando Cantini, along with his partner Michael Javaherian, are sharing their love for Argentine beef with us.
Their high-quality, grass-fed, certified Angus beef is cut to order and shipped directly to your store. They say it's the best grass-fed beef in the world, and we have to agree. Not only because it's packed with Omega 3's, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E, but because we've tried it in our own kitchens!
We opted to grill up a Filet Mignon and Pichana Culotte. You can choose to marinate however you like. For us, we just added salt and black pepper to olive oil for the marinade, and grilling the steak was easy!
Although the Pichana was a new adventure for us, go for the Filet Argentinian steak. Your taste buds will thank you. Especially if you end up personalizing it with all of your favorite seasonings. Oregano, cumin, or red pepper flakes can make great spices to add to your marinade. For some tang, you can add lemon juice or even some chimichurri sauce to top it off. No matter what you throw on it, these cuts speak for themselves.
Carne Collective also has some easy-to-follow cooking videos so that you can make the South American steaks right in your own kitchen. Let us know if you enjoy them as much as we did.