Cooking outdoors doesn't always have to mean grilling food on an open rack.
This recipe from Francis Mallmann's "Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way," uses a flat metal griddle called a chapa to cook the pork. A large cast-iron skillet or griddle would work just as well. You also can cook this on the stovetop.
Use the confit, cut into small strips, as a garnish with any roasted meat or poultry, or as an addition to salads, soups or stews.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH BURNT BROWN SUGAR, ORANGE CONFIT AND THYME
6 pieces orange confit, plus 2 tablespoons confit oil (recipe below)
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
Tear the orange confit into 1/2-inch pieces; scatter over the meat. Sprinkle with thyme and half the salt; sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Pat it down firmly with your hand. Drizzle with the oil from the orange confit.
Prepare a grill for medium heat. Place a large griddle or skillet on the grill; heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Transfer each tenderloin, using a wide spatula and inverting it to place sugar-side down on the hot skillet.
Grill without moving the pork until well-browned, 5 minutes. (If the sugar begins to smell burned, adjust the flame or move the skillet away from the burning charcoal.) Turn the pork; grill until done to taste or to 135 degrees for medium, 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the meat to a cutting board; let rest, tented loosely with foil, 10 minutes before slicing. Season with remaining salt. Serves 6.
12 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons salt
Cut the oranges in half. Squeeze the juice; reserve it for another use. Put the orange halves in a large saucepan.
Add the peppercorns, bay leaves, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the white wine and salt. Add enough water to completely cover the oranges.
Heat to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium. Cook until the orange peel is tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool in the liquid.
Drain the oranges. Tear the peel into rough strips about 1-inch wide. Place skin side down on a work surface; scrape away every bit of the white pith with a sharp knife, leaving only the orange zest. Repeat with the remaining peel.
Put the strips of orange zest in a small container; cover completely with remaining olive oil. Tightly cover. Makes about two cups. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
"From gaucho campfires to society weddings, you can always find chimichurri in Argentina," Mallmann writes in "Seven Fires." Make the chimichurri a day in advance so the flavors have time to blend. Chimichurri may be refrigerated for two to three weeks.
4 boneless rib-eye steaks, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick, at room
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chimichurri (recipe below)
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Salt the steaks. Grease the grill grate. Grill steaks 5 minutes; rotate the meat 90 degrees to create crosshatch grill marks. Grill 4 minutes; turn the steaks. Grill until cooked medium-rare, about 7 minutes, rotating the steak if necessary.
Transfer steaks to a platter; let rest 3 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce. Makes 8 servings.
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 head garlic, separated into cloves, minced
1 cup packed, fresh flat-leaf
1 cup fresh oregano leaves, minced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, stir until dissolved. Remove from heat; cool.
Combine garlic, parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Whisk in the red wine vinegar; whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in the salted water. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, refrigerate. Makes 1 2/3 cups.
When "overdosing" on red meat grilled Argentine-style, Steven Raichlen recommends a grilled pepper salad on the side. "This is about as elaborate as an Argentine vegetable dish gets," he said of this recipe, adapted from his book, "Planet Barbecue!"
ROASTED BELL PEPPER SALAD WITH ANCHOVIES AND GARLIC
4 large red bell peppers
1 can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets, drained
1 to 2 cloves roasted garlic (see note) or raw garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Prepare a grill for hot, direct heat. Grill the peppers until darkly browned and blistered on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cool to room temperature. Scrape the charred skins off the peppers. Halve the peppers, core and scrape out the seeds. Cut each pepper in half again lengthwise.
Arrange the pepper pieces on a platter or plates. Arrange the anchovy fillets in a decorative pattern on top. Sprinkle with garlic; drizzle olive oil over. Sprinkle with the parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.
Note: To roast garlic, place a whole head with skin intact on the grill away from direct heat. Cover the grill. Roast the garlic until the skin is lightly browned and the cloves feel squeezably soft, about 30 minutes.