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Lamb al asador

Lamb al asador

PT1H30M

The idea of preparing food over a fire in a field is such a thrilling and enticing one. There are a few ways to do it. In Argentina and Uruguay, asado is a traditional cooking technique that mirrors a barbecue, which involves cooking meat over a slow-burning fire. A whole animal carcass or piece of meat is prepared, skewered on a metal spit, placed very close to the open fire, and left to cook for hours.

An asado, which is also the name of the event itself, again like 'a barbecue', usually features a parrilla, or open fire. The asador is the person who is in charge of the asado – in essence, the cook.

The gauchos – people from the Pampas in Argentina, Uruguay, and Rio Grande do Sul (in Brazil) – developed a taste for meat cooked at an asado, which is roasted beef, lamb, or goat. Gauchos favoured cooking with local, low-smoking wood and not coal. Asado, accompanied by mate tea, formed the basis of the gaucho diet.

In Argentina and Uruguay, the traditional dish cordero (lamb) al asador is served with chimichurri sauce and sweet potatoes.

This recipe can be reproduced at home on a barbecue grill or in the oven.

Ingredients

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1
To begin, combine all of the chimichurri ingredients in a bowl, adding the oil last to emulsify
2
Transfer to a glass jar and leave overnight in the fridge to infuse
3
The day of cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
4
Place the lamb in a roasting tin and paint all over with the chimichurri. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 170°C/gas mark 3.5 and cook for 15 minutes per 500g (around 1 hour 25 minutes for a 2.25kg leg of lamb) for a medium-rare finish. Baste the lamb with the juices in a tray a few times during cooking
5
Turn the lamb halfway through cooking. Once cooked, remove from the tray and leave to rest covered with foil for 15–20 minutes.
6
While the lamb is resting, roast the sweet potato wedges in salt and olive oil until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Serve with extra chimichurri on the side

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