June 7, 2024

What Are Achuras and Why Should You Include Them in Your Asado

If you’re going to master the art of Argentine asado, you have to get to know achuras! From the crispy chinchulines to the more exotic morcilla, they bring unique flavors and textures to the grill. Having lived in Argentina for many years, I’ve come to appreciate the role achuras play in our Argentine asado tradition. […]

Daniela Solis

June 7, 2024

If you’re going to master the art of Argentine asado, you have to get to know achuras! From the crispy chinchulines to the more exotic morcilla, they bring unique flavors and textures to the grill. Having lived in Argentina for many years, I’ve come to appreciate the role achuras play in our Argentine asado tradition. So, fire up your parrilla and get ready to taste the best chinchulin, mollejas and chorizo. 

achuras chinchulin

Understanding What Are Achuras

Let’s dive into the world of achuras. If you’re going to master the art of the asado, you have to get to know them! Many times, they are the secret stars of any asado.

Chinchulines (small intestines) 

I know what you’re thinking—intestines? Really? Yes, really! When cooked just right, chinchulines can be really delicious, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Give them a good rinse, a splash of vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt. Grill them over medium heat until they’re golden brown and slightly crunchy and then serve them hot off the grill with a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Mollejas (sweetbreads) 

Next, we have mollejas, or sweetbreads. These are not what you think of when you hear “sweet” or “bread.” They’re actually the cow’s thymus glands or pancreas. When grilled to perfection, they’re creamy and rich, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Eat them with a little more lemon juice and some salt. They’re delicious on their own or with a fresh salad.

Riñones (kidneys) 

Moving on to riñones, or kidneys, they have a strong, distinctive flavor that pairs well with garlic and parsley. Before grilling, soak them in water with a touch of vinegar to mellow out the intensity. Cook them until they’re nicely browned on the outside but still juicy inside. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a wedge of lemon. They’re great alongside grilled vegetables or a simple green salad.

Morcilla (blood sausage) 

Now, let’s talk about morcilla, the famous blood sausage. Made from pig’s blood, fat, and spices, it’s a rich, savory sausage that’s absolutely packed with flavor. Not much prep is needed here, but make sure they’re at room temperature before grilling to ensure even cooking. Grill it slowly so it doesn’t burst, and enjoy its velvety, spiced flavor with crusty bread.

achuras morcilla

Chorizo (sausage) 

Last but definitely not least, we have chorizo, mostly eaten in choripan. This is probably the most familiar of the achuras. Chorizo is a spicy, flavorful sausage that’s a hit with everyone. The beauty of chorizo is in its simplicity—throw it on the grill, let it sizzle and crisp up, and you’re in for a treat. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes. It’s juicy, savory, and a little spicy, making it a perfect companion to the rest of your grilled goodies.

Cultural and Culinary Significance

In Argentina, the asado isn’t just a meal; it’s a way of life, a tradition that brings friends and family together. Achuras play a crucial role in this ritual, adding depth and variety to the Argentine parrilla. 

Achuras have been a part of Argentine cuisine for centuries. The practice of nose-to-tail eating ensures that every part of the animal is used, and it comes from the gauchos who used to live in the Argentine Pampas. This tradition has been passed down through generations, making achuras a very important part of Argentine asado today.

Nutritional Value

Now, you may think that achuras are just delicious, fatty meals, but they’re also packed with nutrients that are often not present in more conventional cuts of meat

  • Chinchulines are surprisingly rich in protein and provide a good source of vitamins B12 and B6, which are essential for energy metabolism and brain health. 
  • Mollejas are high in protein and also provide healthy fats, which are crucial for hormone production and cell health.
  • Riñones offer a high concentration of protein, vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin), and iron. These nutrients are vital for red blood cell formation and energy production. 
  • Morcilla is rich in iron, especially heme iron, which is easily absorbed by the body. It’s also a good source of protein and provides a mix of vitamins and minerals like zinc, potassium, and vitamin B12.
  • While chorizo is a bit indulgent, it still offers nutritional benefits. It’s high in protein and contains a good amount of vitamins B1, B3, and B6, as well as minerals like selenium and phosphorus. 

Conclusion

All in all, achuras are integral to Argentine asado, adding depth, variety, and a touch of history to the grill. From the exotic chinchulines to the iron-packed morcilla, achuras can take your asado skills to the next level. So next time you light up the grill, don’t just stick to the familiar cuts. Embrace achuras, you won’t regret this!

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What Are Achuras and Why Should You Include Them in Your Asado
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What Are Achuras and Why Should You Include Them in Your Asado
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If you're going to master the art of Argentine asado, get to know achuras! From the crispy chinchulines to the more exotic morcilla, they bring unique flavors and textures to the grill.
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Argentine Asado

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