Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 19, 2011 09:26 AM

I am roasting a whole COW aka Francis Mallman style from Argentina

On April 15 several friends and I are roasting a cow over an open fire. I am also doing 5 labs and a goat ASADO. This is from the "7 Fires" Cookbook. You may have see Tony Bourdain do this on Travel Channel.

Has anyone on this board ever seen one done?

We have completed all the racks for the cow and the lambs. Close to 1000 +lbs of metal . I ill the cow Tuesday so it can age for 21 to 25 days. Any suggestions would be a appreaciated.

Jeff B Bannister

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This dog lover is hoping that's an unfortunate typo.

    4 Replies
    1. re: 512window

      Scared me, too, until I read the next line.

      1. re: 512window

        Is there a word for being horrified and overcome with giggles at the same time? Maybe something in German?

      2. No suggestions. But I'd love to see pictures! And what type of side dish should I bring? LOL

        1. LAMBS!!!! LAMBS!!!!! sorry about that.

          2 Replies
            1. I don’t think you need our help. Francis Mallman is a wood fire god and you found him. What do you think of his book Seven Fires? Who are you feeding with this primal feast?

              15 Replies
              1. re: Woodfireguy

                AWESOME cook book. I wish I could attach pictures of the lamb and cow racks here. The cow rack same as the book. The lamb racks are even better.
                We expect a few hundred close friends to help eat it. We have about 18 people who will be with us for the whole 18 hour cooking. Though we only expect 8-10 to be sober at any one time.
                We are thinking abut a website and a live web cam. I have a few techie/foodies helping.

                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                  This is admirably ballsy. I, for one, would love to see a site, or at the very least an excruciatingly long and detailed post w/ pix. Go, man, go!

                  1. re: Spot

                    I have a facebook group set up. It has pics that are excruciatinly detailed as I had engineers working on this project. Friend me and let me know that you are from chowhound and I will add you to the group. Jeff Burl Bannister the FB pic is the same as my avitar

                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                      Go for it. Set up a blog (There free) and I will link it with mine. You can attach a JPG on here if you want.

                      1. re: Woodfireguy

                        Here is picture of the Lamb Rack we made.

                        1. re: Woodfireguy

                          We have 5 made. They adjust to 4 differant positions to adjust for heat.

                          1. re: JB BANNISTER

                            I'm an engineer and I never to get work on cooking entire cows. . . my last few projects were less evil than usual but nothing so right as cooking a ludicrously large animal. Hell I would have worked on some drawings for a few slices of lamb.

                            1. re: j8715

                              We mostly need to know what the rack could hole with the metal we had and how much concrete to pour for the cow we had. Stuff was way over my head. All I ask was can it hold a 1200lbs cow? (Ours should be 700-1000lbs as we want to start small) and all I heard was Blah Blah Blah. And I said is that a yes? And it was.

                            2. re: JB BANNISTER

                              JB after reviewing how Francis is doing it I have a few comments.

                              The success of this procedure comes down to heat control. His gear has three way’s to do that. 1, The rack goes up and down over the flame. I did not see that in the picture you posted. 2, His rotates, I’m sure yours will do that…right? 3, He use’s a sheet of corrugated sheet metal to keep the heat on the Meat. That’s easy enough. If I were doing this I would use a two fire’s. One to cook the cow with and the second fire to feed coals to the cooking fire. You can also cook the Chimichurri on the second fire. This is not as hard as it looks once the rack is made. He makes a great point when he says trim the budging tissue and make appetizers out of it. It also keeps everything at on thickness for even cooking.

                              1. re: Woodfireguy

                                I bought the video from the Travel Channel. With that we were able to break it down frame by frame. (Remember we had at least 2 engineers on this). Chef Mallmon would have a hard time telling our rack from his. Our will do everything his does. I only wish I had an exact temp (like 350 degrees) listed. We have several laser thermometers and temp probes we will be using and we could REALLY regulate it if we had that temp,
                                I need to find that passage on "Budging Tissue" What page is that on? I will be cooking all Friday night for the helper and rec. people who show up to party.

                                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                  Good. I read it again and I was wrong. He mentions that some parts require longer cooking when he says to start carving and serve with Chimichurri. My mistake.

                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                    Your engineers should be able to tell you how much weight it can handle. How will you be manipulating the rack once all the weight is on? Up, down, around... can you flip it? Are you using a crane? That is a big animal to be doing on a flat surface. Are you splitting it?

                                    I have spit a pig and a goat. It was unwieldy once we cracked 100 pounds. You also have to consider that some of the parts like the back may cook faster than the rest of the animal so when you near doneness the ease with which you can maneuver the animal will really count.

                                    Also a rack that goes up and down on level works better than a tilt. I could not download your pic to look at it closely, but if you can manage that, it would be a plus.

                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                      It is good enough for two people swing it around. A chain with a block and tackle will move it up and down. So far we have 10 men helping load the cow on the rack. Then we will mount the cow/rack on to the main beam.

                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                        Yeah, I will be looking for your pictures post fest. I love the manmoxie!

                            3. re: JB BANNISTER

                              NO REASON TO FRIEND ME TO SEE GROUP. Search for Bovinova group on facebook. I have opened it up for all to see now that the event is passed.

                      2. This is fantastic. I agree that Seven Fires is the most amazing book, and I bet your roasting will be a big success. Please keep us updated with details and pics. As much as I love the book, I doubt I'll ever have an excuse to do a whole cow. I assume you have a big crowd to enjoy the final product.