Classics like empanadas, steak with chimichurri, and dulce de leche have put Argentina on the culinary map! Argentine cuisine will surely please your family as it brings together the Italian, Spanish, French and local roots of Argentina.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina’s largest city and capital, you’ll find pretty much any food you could imagine, from Italian to French to authentic Argentine food. Whether you want a fancy gourmet meal or authentic Argentine comfort dish, you will find it.
If you want to wow your family and introduce them to cuisines from around the world, start with Argentine cuisine. Here are 3 recipes that will please even your pickiest eaters!
Where’s The Beef?
The popularity of beef in Argentina dates back to the 1500s when the Spanish brought cows to what is now Argentina.
There, they found pampas (or fertile, grass-covered lowlands) as far as the eye could see. The cows could graze in these huge open areas and gauchos (similar to American cowboys) would grill hunks of meat for their mid-day meal.
Now, Argentina is one of the most popular exporters of beef in the world and you can get some of the best steaks of your life there! If you’re wanting to recreate an Argentine beef dish at home, a classic flank steak with chimichurri sauce is the way to go.
To make this, you’ll need the following:
Argentinean Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
- 2-3 lbs flank steak
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the chimichurri sauce:
- 1 cup of parsley, packed
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon of salt
To make the steak, simply rub it with the olive oil and salt and pepper and grill to your liking. Flank steak is best served in very thin slices which are sliced on the grain.
For the chimichurri sauce, pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately as a topping for your steak. If you’d rather serve imported and ready made chimichurri sauce from Argentina you can order it online.
You can’t make or eat Argentine cuisine without empanadas! Taken largely from the Spanish influence, Argentinean empanadas are cheap and eaten as an appetizer with many meals. They can have a variety of different fillings, but the most common is ground beef.
They might seem intimidating, but you can definitely pull them off at home! You’ll need:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
You can make things easier on yourself by buying pre-made empanada dough!
To make the filling, brown the beef until it is fully cooked. Transfer it to a plate and then saute the onions and peppers until they are tender. Add the various spices, stirring everything together, and then add in the chicken broth, the ground beef, and the olives.
Let everything simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated and then let the filling cool for 10-15 minutes. When it’s cool, you can assemble your empanadas! Bake for about 25-35 minutes in a 375-degree oven and enjoy!
Dulce de Leche
A delicious Argentine meal would not be complete without dessert. That’s where Argentina’s iconic dulce de leche comes in. Dulce de leche is a thick caramel sauce made with milk and sugar. You can eat it as a dip or topping for fruit, cakes, ice cream, pastries, cookies, you name it!
To make it, you’ll need a little patience to make sure it doesn’t burn as well as:
- 1 14 oz can of condensed milk
- 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon of corn syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
To make, put the cans of milk in a pot with the corn syrup. Add the cinnamon sticks and baking soda. Cook it over medium or low heat, stirring constantly. You want it to just be barely simmering, so adjust the heat accordingly.
As it thickens and darkens in color, keep stirring. You’ll want to do this until the mixture has big, slow bubbles and looks very thick. Once it is thick enough, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla. Let it cool completely before you use it in any recipes.
If you’d rather take the easy way out you can shop for many authentic Argentine dulce de leche brands online.
Argentine Cuisine: Eat and Enjoy!
Now that you know how to make some of the most traditional Argentine dishes, you can wow your family and your guests at your next dinner party. The food is flavorful and savory and easy to enjoy.
If you’re interested in trying other classic Argentine dishes, check out 17 Delicious Argentine Food Dishes You Should Be Eating.
Take a look at some of the other sections of our blog. We’ve got recipes and articles from Peru, Colombia, Brazil and more!
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