An asado is not an asado without ‘tira de asado'. It is the key cut for cooking ‘a la parrilla' and is always the main event. If the asado is a grand affair, a ‘costillar' (one whole side of the rib cage) will be used, whereas the ‘tira de asado' is one-third of one ‘costillar' and should be the length of the entire rib cage (13 ribs in total).
To prepare the meat, rub a generous amount of salt into the boneless side of the cut and cook whole on the barbecue. Ribs are delicious on their own, but if you want to prepare a condiment, you can't go wrong with a tasty tomato salsa.
2 kg beef short ribs
35 g coarse sea salt, plus extra to serve
Crusty bread, to serve
3 ripe tomatoes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped red chilli
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pinch of sea salt
To make the salsa, remove and discard the cores of the tomatoes.
Cut a small cross in the base of each tomato and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for no more than 1 minute, then drain and peel the tomatoes. Discard the skins. Roughly chop the tomatoes and place in the bowl of a food processor, along with the remaining salsa ingredients. Process to make a smooth sauce. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–4 days.
Preheat a barbecue grill to high.
To prepare the beef ribs, use a small sharp knife to remove the white membrane from the bone side of the ribs by slicing the membrane at one end of the meat and then carefully pulling it off. Alternatively, ask your butcher to do this for you.
Rub the salt all over the ribs.
Place the ribs, bone side down, on the grill. Close the barbecue lid and cook for 15 minutes, or until a dark crust forms. Turn the ribs over and cook for a further 15 minutes, then transfer to a plate, cover with foil and rest for 10–15 minutes.
Cut between the ribs and serve with the tomato salsa, extra sea salt and crusty bread on the side.
Credits: The Food of Argentina: Asado, empanadas, dulce de leche and more by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz. (Smith Street Books, November 2018 - AU$ 49.99, NZ$ 59.99).
Photo Credits: Photography © Rachel Tolosa Paz | Food styling © Vanessa Austin