PALATE PLEASING PATAGONIA
Patagonian free-range lamb reigns supreme in the areas we traveled. While Argentina is also known for its beef, which was tender and flavorful, we found the lamb so extraordinary, we ate it almost every night in different preparations. In restaurants, we often saw a whole skewered lamb splayed open with the legs tied to crossbars, over an open pit of charcoal attended to by an asador (cook). The lamb is rotated and raised and lowered over the coals to control the cooking time and temperature, and is slowly cooked so the fat flavors and tenderizes the meat. Portions are cut from the whole lamb when ordered. Other lamb preparations we enjoyed include ribs, leg of lamb for two that was braised and then charred, and a lamb stew served in what was listed as pumpkin but was actually a kabocha squash.
Asador with lamb at the Singular Patagonia Hotel, Puerto Natales, Chile.
Asador rotating the lamb at the Singular Patagonia Hotel, Puerto Natales, Chile.
We feasted at a barbecue at Estancia La Bomba, which was about an hour and a half from Buenos Aires and reached by a long dirt road, where we were greeted by gauchos on horses, dressed in traditional clothes. After wine and appetizers, we were led to a covered outdoor area, where cooks were grilling lunch. Chicken, sausage, pork, lamb, beef ribs, slabs of half-inch grilled provolone, onions, peppers and potatoes were beautifully served with breads, arugula salad with tomatoes and avocado and, of course, more wine. For dessert, we were served a dulce de leche crepe, which was sprinkled with sugar then caramelized with a branding iron to form a crust similar to the top of crème brulee. The crepe was served with gelato, and as with the gelato we had throughout the country, it was yum, yum good.
Lamb stew served in kabocha squash at La Posta Restaurant, El Calafate, Argentina.
Provolone cheese, vegetables and meats on the grill at Estancia La Bamba De Areco, Argentina.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
MAC ‘N’ CHEESE MARCH MADNESS
Mac ‘N’ Cheese March Madness will be held at The Stone House at Stirling Ridge, 50 Stirling Ave, Warren (908-754-1222) and Liberty House, Liberty State Park, 78 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City (201-395-0300) with a cheesey gourmet Mac ‘N’ Cheese offered daily throughout March. For the calendar of the offerings at both restaurants click here.
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