BBQ South American style


1 Whole suckling pig
“Argentines love flaming big pieces of meat,” says Fernando Larroude, master griller at legendary restaurant chain Gaucho. “This is where a suckling pig comes in. I recommend doing them over a fire pit, on a stake, for four or five hours. Use hard wood for the best flavour. Don’t wrap the meat in anything, and don’t let the flames touch it. When you’re cooking, baste with chimichurri – an oily dip with parsley, garlic, vinegar, oil and aji molido chilli flakes – or simple provencale: garlic and parsley. It will come easily off the bones after a slow cook.”

2 Chicken
“Spatchcock the chicken and do it open on the coal grill. We marinate it with lemon, garlic and parsley.”

3 Ribeye steak
“In Argentina, the number one star on any barbecue will always be steak. I’d recommend a couple of different cuts. Ribeye is my favourite – it is extremely tasty and fatty.”

4 Rump steak
“I also mix in a healthier cut, like rump, which is very flavoursome but has two per cent fat and less cholesterol.”

5 Vacio steak
“Then there’s flank – we call it vacio – which is much more popular in Argentina than anywhere else in the world. For seasoning, simply use rock sea salt. Cook it on a coal grill.”

Nutritionist’s verdict
“You may hear that eating red meat can give you heart disease or cancer, but none of this is strictly true,” says nutritionist Ben Coomber. “It contains protein, so it can give you the muscle to be immovable during set-pieces. It also contains creatine, which improves strength and provides energy. On top of that there’s iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium, and they allow you to take energy from food effectively, can aid sleep and may even produce testosterone. UK meat is grass-fed, too, so it contains Omega-3s that help with body fat loss and recovery.”


“When I’m back home in Brazil, we always have rice. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for lunch or dinner – rice just goes with everything.”

“I bring over beans from Brazil to London. The beans in England are not the same. Again, you always have to have rice and beans on your plate.”

Fried egg
“If you’re having steak, you have to have a fried egg. It’s a favourite in Brazil.”

Nutritionist’s verdict
“Rice and beans are nutritional powerhouses and can help improve digestion, fight free radicals and help you to avoid getting sick,” says Coomber. “The egg gives you another protein hit, plus vitamins A, D, E and K.”


Season the meat just right
“You need to add salt in particular, as it gives good flavour.”

Bring the squad together

“We had an asado with the whole Newcastle squad once – [Fabricio] Coloccini and the others, they enjoyed it very much. It’s a big tradition in Argentina. You get together with family and friends – a big group.”

Get the wine right
“Finally, you’ve got to have some red wine with the meat – you’re sure to enjoy it even more. I would recommend a Malbec Argentino, of course.”

Nutritionist’s verdict
“The Malbec suggested by Jonas is packed full of free radical-fighting antioxidants, and lower in calories than other alcohol options,” says Coomber. “You can’t go wrong with a fine glass of red."

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