Ubre Asada - Gastro Obscura
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Ubre Asada

Grilled cow udder is a Chilean specialty that tastes a bit like tongue.

Chileans aren’t averse to making use of all parts of an animal, be it jellied blood or a tasty cow rectum sandwich. Another dish that uses a part normally discarded is ubre asada, or grilled cow udder.

When a cow is slaughtered, its udders are set aside for the grill. Udders from a young cow are preferable, and they must be cooked as fresh as possible. In cases of mature cows, any remaining milk must be removed.

Cooks first slice the udders into fairly thin steaks, but not so thin that they’ll dry out when grilled. After being lightly salted, the udders are thrown onto a hot grill and cooked until each side is golden. The key to a good ubre asada is the cooking time. If it’s overcooked, it will lose its soft texture and take on too much of a smoky flavor. When cooked to perfection, the grilled udder will have a soft, slightly spongy texture with a crispiness around the edges. The flavor is not dissimilar to a grilled cow’s tongue, with a moderate charred smokiness.

Cow udders also make their way onto grills in Argentina, albeit less frequently than in Chile. In Argentina, the dish is normally known as ubre a la parrilla. The process is the same, although the udders are normally served with chimichurri, like pretty much everything else in Argentina.

Need to Know

If you'd like to grill your own ubre asada, you can buy cow udders from butchers and supermarkets in Chile. They are harder to find in Argentina, but some traditional butchers still sell them.

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Tony Dunnell Tony Dunnell
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