Grilled cow udder is a Chilean specialty that tastes a bit like tongue.
Chileans aren’t averse to making use of all parts of an animal, be it jellied blood or a tasty cow rectum sandwich. Another dish that uses a part normally discarded is ubre asada, or grilled cow udder.
When a cow is slaughtered, its udders are set aside for the grill. Udders from a young cow are preferable, and they must be cooked as fresh as possible. In cases of mature cows, any remaining milk must be removed.
Cooks first slice the udders into fairly thin steaks, but not so thin that they’ll dry out when grilled. After being lightly salted, the udders are thrown onto a hot grill and cooked until each side is golden. The key to a good ubre asada is the cooking time. If it’s overcooked, it will lose its soft texture and take on too much of a smoky flavor. When cooked to perfection, the grilled udder will have a soft, slightly spongy texture with a crispiness around the edges. The flavor is not dissimilar to a grilled cow’s tongue, with a moderate charred smokiness.
Cow udders also make their way onto grills in Argentina, albeit less frequently than in Chile. In Argentina, the dish is normally known as ubre a la parrilla. The process is the same, although the udders are normally served with chimichurri, like pretty much everything else in Argentina.
Where to Try It
Chilenazo Website115 Nueva San Martín, Maipú, Chile
This chain of traditional Chilean restaurants has six locations in Santiago, all specializing in grilled meets, including udders.