Without a doubt, the festival of roast lamb (Cordero a la Estaca) is one on the finest al fresco eating experiences there is. Up high on a mountaintop meadow, the cooks light the fires early in the morning and constantly top them up with ash firewood creating a slow burning pit of embers ideal for cooking whole splayed lamb for six hours or more.The result is a succulent “cooked to perfection” meat with a delicious Smokey flavor from the ash wood and a wonderful added taste from the homemade chimichurri (a mix of herbs, garlic, vinegar, white wine and olive oil) which is squirted into the meat just before the end of the cooking process.
This method of preparing lamb can be found throughout the region of Asturias during the summer with many towns hosting their own festival and is open to anyone wishing to try it. There are also many restaurants that offer “Cordero a la Estaca” throughout the year but you will have to pre-order the dish as it involves a lot of preparation.
W.I.A. had the pleasure of meeting up with Tom and Helen Bennett, two Scots who have made a home for themselves here in Asturias and are always looking for interesting traditional customs to participate in. We met them in the “Prau Llagüezos” (Llagüezos meadow) which is situated at on the border between the council of Quirós and Lena at 1330m above sea level. Llagüezos is considered to be one of the largest Lamb roasting festivals in Asturias. It is also one of the best situated thanks to its wonderful views and megalithic tombs and Dolmens located at the entrance of the meadow.
In this video, Tom and Helen walk you through the event which has been taking place in Prau Llagüezos on the first Sunday of July annually since 1965.
Latitude 43° 9’11.57″N
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