Don Cristian Solis, son of pioneer Don Eduardo Solis, born and raised in the town of Lago Verde, shares his perspective of the traditions relating to Asado al palo: “When our grandfathers and great-grandfathers came to settle Patagonia, they quickly discovered that working these lands, amongst the mountainous terrain and harsh climate, required a lot of help. The easiest and fastest way to tackle the hard work of settling a farm in Aysén, was to join hands with our family and neighbors, and work as a team. Today, it’s a tradition in the Region; for the big jobs, like branding, shearing, and ear-tagging, we all join in, moving from farm to farm, working together, to get the work done. And on each farm, when we finish our work, we celebrate with a typical Patagonian barbecue, which we call an asado al palo. So, what’s on the menu? I thought you’d never ask! Spit roasted lambs, tortas fritas with fresh pebre, two or three different kinds of salads, boiled potatoes, and of course, red wine! During early spring in Patagonia, in the latter days of September, the first lambs are born. As soon as they reach a weight of 11 Km, everyone in Patagonia begins to long for an opportunity to enjoy a delicious Patagonian asado al palo. During the summer months, the demand for lambs rises 300%, especially in December and January, when families come together to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. A traditional, Patagonian-style asado al palo, is the essential feast!”
Here are just some of don Cristian’s secrets for preparing a typical Patagonian asado al palo of roasted lamb for 13 - 15 people. So, grab your best gaucho boina che, all hands on deck!