Estancia El Ombu de Areco :Just 120km away from the city of Buenos Aires in San Antonio de Areco district, the General Pablo Riccheri bought this property in 1870, and then transformed it into a working ranch and then the years later finished the construction of the main house, with its italian style villa architecture, for his family.
President Julio Roca appointed Riccheri Army Chief of Staff, and on July 13, 1900, citing his “intelligent furor and single-minded dedication to our military procurement needs,” President Roca named him the nation’s War Minister. His tenure was marked by ongoing efforts to modernize the Argentina Armed Forces.
In 1910 was promoted to the rank of Major General. Riccheri believed the military should remain a disinterested party in Argentina politics. He nevertheless lent his support in 1909 to UCR leader Hipólito Yrigoyen’s call for universal male suffrage and the secret ballot.
Many years later the Estancia El Ombú was sold to Robert Dowdall: an expert (English origins) criollo horses breeder (you can buy his book “Criando Criollos”)
In 1934 Eva and Cristina´s grandfather, Enrique Boelcke, bought this Estancia property of 300 hectares. It is still, as it was then, used for arable farming and raising cattle, which allows the visitor to also experience these activities.
Nowadays part of the Estancia is populated with near 350 Aberdeen Angus cows, approximately 80 criollo horses, few sheeps a some other farm animals managed by the gauchos.
In 1993 the Estancia El ombu de Areco was adapted to receive tourists looking for an authentic gaucho experience in the Buenos Aires pampa.
The San Antonio de Areco River runs within two kilometres of the house and can be reached by walking through a wild landscape of tall grass and mixed woodland.
Overhead you will see caranchos, chimangos, barn owls, herons and many other native birds of the Pampas.
The porch surrounding the Estancia house is absolutely beautiful with an abundance of climbing plants, columns, big heavy wooden doors and a light airy atmosphere. Flowers and more flowers surround the two swimming pools.
Some of the bedrooms overlook the refreshing water. The bathrooms are in perfect condition and full of dainty details.
Eva is an agricultural engineer, but for the last more than 20 years she is devoted also to this hospitality activity of the estancia receiving visitors in a full day tour.
Learn more about the program of a real gaucho experience
You can book a Full day tour to San Antonio de Areco town with a visit to gaucho Estancia El Ombu de Areco by clicking here
This Buenos Aires gaucho tour program includes:
– Transfer from Buenos Aires picking you up in your apartment or hotel
– Tickets for the Workshop/gaucho Museum in San Antonio de Areco town
– Bilingual local Tour guide (Argentine)
– All the food and drinks mentioned are included
– Horseback ride or if you prefer a carriage ride with the company of the gauchos: How is the horseback riding in the Estancia
If you prefer to take a Tour focused in the Colonial Architecture of the gaucho town
Mas información en Español sobre las Estancias: Las Estancias
Exporting Argentine Asado : The argentine chef Francis Mallmann develop a fancy way of the typical Argentine asado, and he did it for two another celebrities: David Beckham and Guy Ritchie in Ashcombe, in England.
Francis create a dome where there are hanging pieces of meat, vegetables and fruits, surrounded by wooden coals on fire set in a pit.
He name it: cooking “al hilo” and he has being producing it in restaurants, events and Estancias all over Argentina.
David Beckham and Guy Ritchie BBQ
Francis called this last event: “Early tease of coals and smoke at Ashcombe. A fire palace of grace, taste and hope. @guyritchie @davidbeckham The busy bee has no time for sorrow.”
And Beckham answer “Thank you to Mr Francis Mallmann for an unforgettable and never done before BBQ… Also to Mr Ritchie for always being the graceful host… Lovely day in the country.. Btw don’t try this at home it was carefully watched by Francis and his amazing team…”
David Beckham and Guy Ritchie BBQ
Francis Mallmann: Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the work of his father took him to live in Patagonia, where he fell in love with the kitchen. He began his culinary training in France with the nouvelle cuisine. Years later he returned to Argentina, and for several years devoted himself to different projects between Europe and Buenos Aires.
Finally, in 1983 he opened his first venture: a restaurant at night and cooking school day. Gradually, he abandoned the foundations of nouvelle cuisine to devote to the rustic kitchen, which is the return to basic, everyday ingredients, simple utensils and classic preparations, combined with the passion for the combination of flavors and a gourmet twist.
He is also the creator of “Siete fuegos”: This proposal is for lunches or meals outdoors with a tour through seven fires cooking techniques like a sophistication of the original Argentine asado. The same can be done in the pampa fields, desert, snow or at the beach. For them it requires adequate space where they can ignite fires using firewood and charcoal. These techniques were inherited from some ancestors of the native peoples of South America and other ones in the life of the gaucho and the European migrations in Argentina.
You can enjoy your real gaucho asado in this Tour in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco
More about Gaucho culture: The Gaucho Experience in Spanish
Pasajes a San Antonio de Areco en bus: Arecobus
You can check more than 500 5 stars reviews in Tripadvisor here: Tripadvisor reviews for Buenos Aires Gaucho Tour
Asado Pampa Argentina consists of meat, usually a large piece from the animal´s ribs (“asado de costilla”), that is roasted on a iron spit on embers made of wood for 4/5 hours in an open space.
“The beef diet must have a wonderful effect in hardening and strengthening the gauchos: they scarcely ever have anything the matter with them…”(Hinchliff – 1863)
Today, the main dish in the Buenos Aires Pampa is beef cooked in a grill with embers made of a native tree like espinillo and some others.
And if there exists one style of eating that defines an Argentina person in the eyes fo the foreigner, it is the Argentina asado originally produced by the gauchos.
Identified by the use of the parrilla, this primitive form of cooking meat, the lifeblood of the gaucho and the dwellers of the vast pampas, and later adopted by towns-people and Buenos Aires city folk, is the trademark of our national gastronomy.
From its simplest to its most opulent form, it is almost impossible to tour around the country without coming face to face with a parrilla at work.
Today´s asado pampa argentina, prepared on the parrilla, is a far cry from the roasts of yesterday in the Estancias.
An Italian Jesuit, Cayetano Cattaneo, wrote about his experiences while travelling horseback riding the pampa Argentina at the start of the 18th century, including a description of the manner of cooking adopted by the “guazos” ( gauchos ).
“No less curious is their way of eating meat. They kill a cow or bull and while some cut its throat the others commence to dismember it so that in a quarter of an hour it is all in pieces on the beach. A fire is then lit and each one fashions a spit with a stick on which they impale two or three pieces of meat which is still warm, to them it is tender.
The spits are stuck in the ground, slightly inclined towards the fire… In less than a quarter of an hour, when the meat is barely browned, it is devoured however tough it may be and however much blood it sprays around.”
This illustrates two things quite clearly: the spit came before the grill on the pampas (though not in the hills and mountains of the Northwest), and Argentina tastes have changed substantially since those days.
Today it is difficult to find an Argentina person who eats meat that is not overcooked when not almost burnt.
Concolorcorvo, the traveller and writer: “Many times four or five of them (the gauchos) gather on horseback with the pretext to have a good time, taking with them no more than their lazo (lasso), their boleadoras and a knife. They decide to eat a cow or steer; it is brought down, tied by its feet and, almost still alive, remove from it the hide which is pricked on the side with meat and roasted, badly and half raw to be eaten with no other dressing but salt, if they have any with them.”
Those were the days when the asado had invaded the houses of ill repute, the dance halls, and – above all – the political committees who obtained votes by means of abundant promises, wine and asado.
Asado pampa argentina partially extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet
You can enjoy your own empanadas while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco
For booking the most Real gauchos Tour Buenos Aires Areco Estancia
Foodie Tour to San Antonio de Areco Town & Estancia : Contact for Foodie Tour Estancia San Antonio de Areco
Updates of the Foodie Tour to San Antonio de Areco Town & Estancia : Facebook of Foodie Tours in Buenos Aires
Si prefiere leer en Español: aquí tiene un sitio donde explican sobre el Asado Argentino
Empanadas recipe: can be as varied as the imagination allows in Argentina, but there are a serie of traditional fillings which should be taken into account.
And just as fillings are a multitude, basic empanada pastry is reduced to two versions: for baking and for frying. While both these versions sometimes suffer minor variations, it is of interest to master both for true authenticity.
Dough for frying:
- 3 cups of basic flour
- 1 cup shortning, preferably lard
- 1 beaten egg
- 4 tablespoons slightly salted water
Mix flour and shortning and then te beaten egg and the water, a little at a time. Knead until a smooth, elastic dough is obtained. Let stand 30 minutes.
Because the amount of water necessary can vary, blend in the egg first, before adding the water. When ready roll out into a thin, flat sheet and cut into rounds with a wide-mouthed pastry cutter.
When filled and closed, the empanada should be fried in very hot fat, two or three at a time, and placed on absorbent paper to drain. (The hotter the fat, the drier the empanada on emerging). The empanada should be just browned, not over-fried.
Standard beef filling of the empanadas recipe:
- ½ kg lean beef, preferably hand chopped into very small cubes
- ½ cup lard or shortning
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ cup boiling broth (or water)
- Raisins, chopped olives and hard boiled egg as necessary
Heat lard very hot in heavy iron skillet. Brown onion, add beef and stir until pink colour has gone. Add flour and continue stirring until beef is lightly browned.
Now add scallions, paprika and broth to form a thick mixture. Mix well and cook for no more than five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and oregano. Remove from heat and cool. Add some raisins chopped olives and slices of hard boiled eggs to taste.
Place a little of this mixture in center of each round of dough, fold over and seal by wetting edges with water and pressing with fingers or a fork.
Once made, before trying them please take into account the empandas etiquette
If you are visiting Argentina you can find Empanadas en San Antonio de Areco
This empanadas recipe was extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet
You can enjoy your own empanadas while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancia: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco