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Secrets of the Gaucho Grill


Use Gaucho Grill cooking techniques to create delicious foods and meats that will conjure up images of these early South American equestrians.

For those individuals who rode over the plains, hills and grasslands in Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil a grill was all that they needed to prepare sizzling steaks and ribs.

A simple style of grill was easily constructed with a few pieces of metal but there were makeshift Gaucho grill techniques that could suffice if time and circumstances would not permit the building of an actual barbeque grill.

Those first Uruguay gauchos who roamed the countryside in South America would use their horses as transportation but when they rounded up stray cattle the beef would become their food. Necessity dictated that this animal meat be prepared and consumed as quickly as possible.

Gauchos could make jerky from some of the meat but with an improvised gaucho grill and trusty Gaucho knife, the slaughter of a cow meant the riders could enjoy freshly cooked steaks. Grilling meat was one way that these men could continue the style of cooking that originated among members of native tribes.

Poultry such as duck or chicken could be roasted over a hot grill. Slabs of beef ribs were often placed atop a simple frame and allowed to slow cook until they were tender. In a rush the gauchos could slice smaller chunks of meat from the carcass of the animal and use sticks to quick grill their food.

Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina are well known as some of the best beef producing countries in the world. The cattle industry in Uruguay owes much of its success to the early gauchos, and even today the ranches still depend upon the work and talents of highly skilled Uruguayan gauchos.

The first gaucho grill was based on a design used by Taino Indian tribes nearly 500 years ago. These people had learned to roast, smoke and bake seafood and other meats with a simplistic grill made from pieces of wood. This barbacoa would later prove to be the precursor for today's barbecue grill.

The success of barbecued meats and grilled foods has far outgrown their humble beginnings. Asado, or barbecue is one of the favorite foods in Uruguay. This traditional style of cooking is a way to experience a special part of Uruguay history and culture.

In Uruguay grilled steaks are cooked without marinades.

This allows the true, rich flavor of the tender beef to fully develop. The minimal seasoning is how those meats were cooked on an earlier Uruguayan grill.

When you have an excellent product such as Uruguay beef there is no real need to try and change the flavors.

A chimichurri sauce can always be added as an accompaniment if desired.

Today you will find many restaurants in South America that feature gaucho inspired recipes and rustic cooking techniques. In essence these experienced chefs are attempting to recreate the kinds of foods that were being invented over a gaucho grill many years ago.

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