Sunday, August 06, 2006


Quiz: What do you get when mix a bunch of retiree fly fishermen, some good-ol-boy ranchers, a handful of head bangers (one wearing a Slayer T-shirt), spouses, a gaggle of kids, lots of beer, and one very recently butchered goat strapped to a metal cross with baling wire?

Answer: my dad's annual New Castle Asado
(that's spanish for BBQ, more or less)

Dean (my dad) spent several weeks in Argentina a few years ago on -- what else -- a fly fishing trip, and he was inspired by their barbeque technique. Since then, he's held his own version
of it every summer in New Castle, on Colorado's western slope.

In the asado, the centerpiece (victim) is a whole kid goat, butchered, skinned, and strapped to a metal cross. The whole apparatus is placed between a wood fire and a wall of sheet metal to hold in the heat, and roasted for several hours. In case you're having trouble picturing such a thing, here's a photo.

The day started at 7:40 am, when my dad, his friend Doc and I drove a few miles up Elk Creek to Mike Dodo's ranch, where we procured one goat for a hundred bucks. A single .22 bullet through the brain quickly dispatched the goat, and Dean and Doc proceded to butcher it. It was the first time this city slicker has personally witnessed this ritual on anything larger than a fish. It's a worthwhile experience every meat eater should have, though.

So how does Dean end up with such a bizarre mix of guests? This is where his worlds collide: friends from church, long-time fly fishing buddies, former co-workers, a few fraternity brothers, and New Castle locals: ranchers, transplanted securities traders, ex-pilots, river guides, and head bangers (the New Castle Renegades, as they're affectionately known).

This diverse crowd had a great time, though. Good party, Dean!

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