Lamb BBQ – a guide to DIY

For those not familiar with this, cooking a lamb “al asador”, “a la cruz” or “al palo” is a tradition in Patagonia but also a great way to cook any type of meat, where both the heat and smoke add their part on.

Basically you set the lamb tied on a metal cross, sticked to the ground, in front of an open fire. If you’ve ever visited Patagonia and tried the lamb this way you must have felt in love immediately with it.

In order to have you doing it at home and getting a feeling of Patagonia in this special year, here’s all the info you need to be successful!

What you need:

  • Full lamb (9-12 Kilo) or half lamb.
  • Asador (metal cross bbq) 
  • Plenty of firewood – any softer wood for bigger flame.
  • Salmuera (brine) made simply with water, salt and garlic, can add rosemary. 

Keep this 10 tips in mind in order to try it yourself:

1  Start the fire. Distance to cross must be around 2-3 feet

2  Put lamb on cross; for this help yourself with metal wire to tie legs by the ends firmly. Tie another piece by the spine -by the middle of the lamb- to the cross. This will help once cooked so it doesn’t fall apart. 

3 Cross will be put in an angle, around 30º. More sophisticated crosses can be regulated to different angles.

4  Position neck up (even thou there are different theories on this), and firstly the rib side to the fire (you’ll cook that side first and then turn only to finish it, 75/25% of the time, perhaps 3 hour and 1hr).

5  If done outside -most surely- make sure wind blows towards the lamb and not blow the heat away.

6  As wood turns into embers keep adding wood to maintain the fire alive. 

7 Put some of those embers under the legs so it cooks the lower part that’s further from the heat.

8 Every 30 minutes or so, add some salmuera.

9  The right time to turn it over will be once cooked on the ribs side and feeling the temperature on the back, usually watching some of the fat melting already.

10   Our last piece of advice is to eat straight from the cross, better if close but certainly serving and tasting it before it losses temperature.

Note: Remember this will take 3-4 hours so no rush and don’t rush it, keep your yerba mate around and eventually a good Malbec.

We were able to get the first hand advice from Pedro (Biott) himself on making the perfect lamb on the following video:

You’d like to add some chimi churry? For sure! Follow this link for a full recipe.

“Knowing more about the metal cross: They can be quite sophisticated or extremely simple. The most important is to be set firmly on the ground so it doesn’t twist to the sides. One simple trick is to dig a hole and place a square metal tube (15’’) to fit the cross inside once set.

If looking for ideas to build one, simply Google asador cruz DIY”

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