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Traditional Brazilian steaks

In Brazil, specially the southern end, we have a long tradition of preparing steaks we're quite proud of, and visiting foreigners are usually impressed. Traditional brazilian barbecue ("churrasco") is very simple.

The meat is usually rump or rump cover which in the USA is not considered a premium meat, but here are the most expensive cuts and for barbecue are usually cut around half inch thick. It is prepared by covering both sides in rough (unrefined) salt, letting it sit for a couple minutes then shaking the salt and placing straight on the grill.

To be authentic the grill must use coal fire. Good, black coal gives the meat a special taste that definitely won't be there if a gas or electric grill is used. The coals must be lighted at least half an hour before placing the meat, by then the flames should subside and the coals should all be glowing red.

The cook then waits the appropriate time for the first side to go brown and turns it over, when both sides are brown it's served. The middle should be still red, like a good rare to medium rare steak.

I'm certainly partial but I definitely have not ever had any steak better than those prepared using these traditional steps.


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