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When in Argentina, Cook Meat!

by Meg · 4 comments

Our gourmet creation from our hostel in Buenos Aires!

It is pretty well known that Argentina is the beef capital of the world. So when staying in Buenos Aires, why wouldn’t I take the opportunity to whip up some delicious meat up from scratch?!

Like the North End in my native Boston (where literally every Italian joint is mouth-watering), you can’t go wrong with the steak restaurants in Argentina… and they are on every block.  Even though they far surpass the quality of American steak houses and only will put you back $20USD per person (wine and appetizies included), it is still a lot cheaper to buy your own meat at a local butcher and make it yourself.

So while staying in San Telmo in Buenos Aires, Tony and I went to the famous Mercado San Telmo and practiced some hardcore Spanglish with the butcher and got an enormous 16oz rib eye steak to take home with us for only $3.50USD – AMAZING! Better yet, it was incredibly tasty and easy to make.

It's a meat fest at Mercado San Telmo

Even if you’re not in the glorious country of Argentina, you can still find quality (and surprisingly economical) cuts at your local butcher shop and whip up a great meal in a matter of minutes back home.

Since we were cooking our steaks in a hostel with limited resources, we ended up cooking them in a pan.  They turned out delicious, although I don’t consider myself an expert by any means when it comes to cooking steak.  Thus, I have included the Food Network instructions below from Alton Brown on how to pan sear Rib Eye.


  • 1 boneless rib eye steak, 1 1/2-inch thick
  • Canola oil to coat
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


  1. Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature. (Note: Since we only had a conventional toaster oven in our hostel, we skipped this first step and our steak still turned out fab!)
  2. When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste.
  3. Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)
  4. Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate.

For a sidedish, Tony and I paired our steak with leftover pasta from the night before and some pan seared chopped eggplant, peppers, and caramelized onions sautéed in some white wine… Yum!

And it wouldn’t be a traditional Argentinean steak meal without some cheap red wine to wash it all down! (I might have taken a nap afterwards)


About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

catherine rulli March 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I just love Alton Brown. I did not know that was his tag line until I saw this picture. I love it.
I love your culinary adventures that you are highlighting. This looks delicious. I love buying from the butcher, neighborhood cheese shop or farmers market. I love talking to the people that know where the item originated and can give advice on how to prepare. I imagine that would be hard if you do not speak the language but then voila….http://altonbrown.com/ to the rescue.
When visiting Rome a few years back, we grew tired of restaurants and since we were staying in an apartment we stopped by the local grocer. Hand made pasta, local olive oil, fresh anchovies….the best meal of the whole trip.
You make me want to travel just for the food alone.

Meg March 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Couldn’t agree with you more! Although now we are in Bolivia at a hostel that doesn’t have a kitchen, which is sad… But the food here is so cheap! Last night our dinner for two cost as much as a pack of gum at the store. Insane!

JR March 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I love your tips about how not just to save money by cooking a meal but buying the food allows you to engage the locals and feel how they buy their food. The more you can get into the culture the more your experiences will grow. You two are doing a great job allowing all of us followers to also enjoy the experience. Thanks

Meg March 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Thanks JR for continuing to follow our journey!

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