This curanto calls for lamb, but it could just as easily include a whole salmon fillet, a chicken or two, or any large cut of meat. How much you can make depends on how much your fire pit will hold. If you do include chicken or salmon, serve Salsa Criolla or Parsley, Olive Oil, and Garlic Sauce along with the chimichurri.
The Tehuelche prepare their curantos in a deep pit dug especially for the occasion, but for this recipe, we prepared our curanto in a wheelbarrowÃ³which is a lot more practical for most people! To avoid melting the wheel on your wheelbarrow, take it off and prop up the wheelbarrow with cinder blocks or a log.
1:00 p.m. or so
3. Lay a large piece of burlap or muslin, or a cotton sheet, over the earth. The fabric should be dense enough to protect the food from dirt and large enough so that it can completely envelop the food. Put the lamb and vegetables on the cloth. Season with salt and pepper, and fold the cloth over. Lay another cloth over the first one, covering the food completely. Shovel a final layer of earth over it, filling the wheelbarrow and extending a few inches above the rim. Your objective is to have enough earth to trap all the heat.
4. Carefully remove the top layer of earth, and just as carefully lift the cloth from the foodÃ³take your time, making sure to keep the earth away from the food. Transfer the food to platters, and serve the lamb with the chimichurri.
From Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann. Copyright 2009, Francis Mallmann. From the September 12, 2009 episode.
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