A Guide to Beef in Chile
When I moved to Chile one of the first things I realized was just how lost I was when buying beef. If you try to translate the names of the various cuts, you’ll get even more confused—there’s lomo vetado, “vetoed loin”, huachalomo or “orphan loin”, malaya or “Maylasian woman”, pollo ganso or “chicken goose”, posta negra and posta rosada, “black post” and “pink post”, and asado de carnicero, “roast of the butcher”. Fortunately, with a bit of research and experimentation, you can easily find your favorite cuts.
You’ll want tender cuts for this method of cooking. Go for lomo vetado, lomo liso, filete, entrecot (t-bone steak), punta picana, or entraña. These cuts can be pretty pricey, so you could also use huachalomo or asado de carnicero if they seem tender and of good quality.
For asados (barbeque)—
If you’re slow-cooking over a fire, there are plenty of options. Those who prefer their meat on the rare side can use lomo vetado, lomo liso, punta picana, or asado de carnicero; if you want to get plenty of smoke flavor or prefer well-cooked meat, use tapapecho (brisket), sobrecostilla, or asado de tira (short ribs). If you’re using a tougher cut, make sure you cook over low heat until the meat is tender.
Roasts or stews—
There are plenty of cuts to choose from if you’re roasting or simmering—posta negra, posta rosada, posta paleta, punta de ganso, plateada, malaya, choclillo, asiento picana, ganso, pollo ganso, huachalomo, and asado de tira. Some of these, like the postas or pollo ganso, can be on the dry side but will turn into tender and moist roasts if prepared properly. Try cooking in a covered dish on low heat (300 – 325 F) for 2 to 3 hours or until tender, basting with butter every so often.
Soups and stocks—
Osobuco (marrow bone) makes an excellent addition to any soup, as do pezuñas (hooves) and huasos (soup bones). For a stock or a bone broth, pezuñas and huasos are best.
Not all carnecerías will have organ meats, but they’re still easier to find here than in the US, and usually pretty cheap compared to other cuts. Some organs you may see are lengua (tongue), higado (liver), riñones (kidneys), and corazón (heart).
Have questions about visiting or moving to Chile? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us here with any questions or feedback.