Brazilian Barbecue Series – Barbecued Rump Cap Roll – ‘X-Picanha’

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Barbecued Rump Cap Roll – ‘X-Picanha’

I am having lots of fun with this barbecue series, it’s been a joy to rediscover some good old Brazilian recipes. Like in many other countries around the world barbecue is quite an institution in Brazil. For a starter many houses have a barbecue room called ‘churrasqueira’, which can be indoors or outdoors. The most complete of the barbecue rooms have tables and chairs, couches, a full kitchen with fridge, freezer and stove and of course the barbecue equipment. By the way this is how it looks like (image source: mercadolivre.com.br): The place is also equipped with special cutlery, crockery, glasses, wooden boards, metal skewers, a caipirinha cocktail kit, music stereo system and sometimes even a TV to watch that special soccer match! Even some tiny apartments or studios may have a compact barbecue like the one in the picture installed in a small balcony! Everyone I know in Brazil is crazy about a barbecue, not only for the eating side but the social side too. People get together on the weekend to catch up with family and friends in a very relaxed mood to listen or play music and spend almost the whole day snacking on barbecued meats and sides. The barbecue starts early, by 9AM with the preparation of the charcoal by the churrasqueiro (person responsible for the barbecue). Guests start to arrive before midday to have the starters: caipirinhas, sausages with cassava flour and potato salad with rolls. Then meats are served, with beef cuts being the preferred ones. The table is filled with colourful salads, farofas and rolls. The common desserts are barbecued pineapple with ice-cream, fruit salad with cream, passionfruit or chocolate mousses and popsicles. If...
Brazilian Barbecue Series – Spicy Barbecued Pineapple (‘Camelo’) with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Spicy Barbecued Pineapple (‘Camelo’) with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Camelo or ‘camel’ is how we call our whole barbecued pineapple. Being a fruit native from Brazil, pineapples are abundant and super tasteful making it a very popular fruit over there. In the basic recipes the whole peeled pineapple is covered with ground cinnamon and slowly caramelised over the charcoal barbecue. There are a few variations to this dish, some have cachaça others are spicier and also call for ground cloves and ginger. The fruit is normally eaten plain or with vanilla ice-cream. Barbecue lovers say that after all that meat pineapple is the ideal dessert for being extremely light and digestive. Words cannot describe how tasteful this dish is, the natural flavours of pineapple enhanced with the smokiness of charcoal and the spiciness of cinnamon…served with vanilla ice-cream are really out of this world. My mouth is watering while I write this post! Here is another angle of this pineapple delight:   A couple of more song ideas for you to enjoy with your Brazilian-style barbie, this time on the instrumental side with two of our best acoustic guitar players Sebastiao Tapajos and Baden Powell. Sons de Carrilhao – Sebastiao Tapajos Samba do Aviao – Baden Powell    Ingredients  1 small pineapple (about 1kg), peeled 1 tbs ground cinnamon 1 tbs brown sugar 1 tbs cachaça* (or dark rum) Good quality vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional) *Available from large liquor stores or online  Instructions  1. Brush the pineapples with cachaça (or rum) and sprinkle with cinnamon all over. Place in the barbecue and cook for about 20 minutes. Turn and cook for further 20 minutes or until caramelised. Serve with vanilla ice-cream. Serves: 6-8   ============================================================================================ Receita em Português Camelo – Abacaxi...
Brazilian Barbecue Series – Speck and Cassava Flour Crumb

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Speck and Cassava Flour Crumb

Farofa is a typical Brazilian crumb made with toasted cassava flour (or chunky corn flour). I have to say here that cassava flour is one of my favourite ingredients ever and I warn you it is quite addictive. Cassava flour is part of Brazilians’ diet since ancient times, it was invented by the indigenous Brazilians as means to preserve their food for long periods. This is an ingredient that matches pretty much with anything. In Brazil the crumb recipes are almost endless and can be either sweet or savoury, some classic farofas are banana, kale, onion, smoked sausage, corn or plain which I posted before to accompany the Brazilian chicken stew. I could give you a replacement to cassava flour, but there is no point, your barbecue will only taste exotic if you try it! Don’t worry, it is so easy to buy them in Australia (and many other countries around the world) either online or from South American grocers. Cassava flour is so versatile that one can easily turn my recipe into a vegetarian dish, just fry some onions, garlic, add your favourite veggies e.g. grated carrots and cabbage, some herbs, spices and it will be equally delicious. For a full Brazilian barbecue experience here are a couple of samba songs by renowned Brazilian singer Marisa Monte. Her voice is so beautiful, she sings like an angel! If you are curious about Brazilian music, check her work on Spotify: Meu Canário – Marisa Monte O Bonde do Dom – Marisa Monte  Ingredients  3 tbs of extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, finely chopped 2 long red chillies, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 200g naturally smoked speck, rindless, finely...
Brazilian Barbecue Series – Rump Cap Barbecue Step-by-Step

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Rump Cap Barbecue Step-by-Step

As soon as the weather got warmer, more precisely in the beginning of spring an Australian friend of mine who is a fan of my website (thanks Pete!) asked me to publish a barbecue recipe. I thought it was a great idea but it took me a couple of months to decide what I was going to make. After watching a video on how to prepare the perfect mouth-watering Brazil’s rump cap barbecue I immediately got inspired! Starting with the rump cap, in the next few weeks I will be posting barbecue-related recipes, including refreshing salads, sides and desserts, all inspired by Brazil’s world famous barbecuing style and my own family recipes. Rump cap or top sirloin cap is a prime beef cut very popular in Brazil  known as picanha (pea-kan-yah). When cooked appropriately (rare or medium rare) this cut is incredibly tender, juicy and tasty. Because Brazilian beef cuts are different from Australian ones, rump cap is not a cut you will find easily at supermarkets – although I already saw them in large supermarkets in Brisbane. The best way is to ask your butcher to slice it for you. In Hobart I buy mine at West Hobart Gourmet Meats. Just show the chart below and explain that picanha (cut no. 8 – image source cozinhadadi.com) is the capping meat over the rump/top silverside and let them know they have to keep 1cm of fat layer. Notice the fat is extremely important as it enhances the flavour of the meat. Some Brazilians are so crazy about picanha that they even eat the fat! In order to have the authentic picanha cut only, you will have to cut the excess beef at home or ask your butcher to...
Brazilian Strawberry Trifle

Brazilian Strawberry Trifle

‘Every food has a story’, so it says the slogan of Australia’s Feast Magazine. This is absolutely true. When I am cooking, in special for my blog, I always think about the story that is behind that particular food. I am there in the kitchen, stirring something, slicing, mixing a cake, preparing a dessert, etc, thinking about what I am going to tell and all of the sudden I remember an event related to the dish. It can be either the cooking process, any difficulties I had, how I learnt the dish, something special about the produce, shopping or the story of a special occasion in which the dish was served. This Brazilian Strawberry Trifle is no different. This dish reminds me when I used to work for an accounting firm when I lived in Albury (NSW) many years ago. I met lots of great people over there and made good friends and many of them are still in touch with me today. It is amazing how they embraced me as part of their team in a very warm way. Being originally from another country it is always more difficult to start a new job because of cultural differences. But from day one they treated me as part of their team. There was an occasion in which they had a morning tea to celebrate ‘Harmony Day‘, a wonderful initiative by the Australian government in which all Australians are invited to celebrate Australia’s diversity. It is amazing that people from more than 200 countries make up the Australian community and more than 300 languages are spoken in Australian homes, including my mother language Portuguese! Anyway, they asked me to cook...
Brazilian Crème Caramel with Fresh Raspberries

Brazilian Crème Caramel with Fresh Raspberries

Thanks to the Portuguese, crème caramels have been part of the Brazilians’ table for many years. Initially the basic Brazilian custard recipe was very similar to the original Portuguese caramel recipe and had milk, sugar and eggs. In the beginning of the 20th century, however, sweetened condensed milk slowly started to be incorporated into our recipes and these days most Brazilians prefer to use this ingredient. In reality, if I were to translate the name of the dish literally, it would be ‘Sweetened Condensed Milk Flan’. There is not only a plain version of this recipe, the usual Brazilian excitement in the kitchen led to the creation of hundreds of flavours. Recipes may include fruits like pineapple, mango, banana, guava, strawberry; nuts like walnuts and peanuts; white or dark chocolate; and vegetables such as corn or pumpkin, to name a few. Although the caramel recipe is very easy to follow, the result is not always satisfactory. If you are not careful, the custard can easily overcook ending up in a caramel that instead of being smooth and silk, has a texture of a Swiss cheese! Some people in Brazil don’t mind the overcooked version, but to me, silkiness is totally required! I love the melt-in-the-mouth feeling that this dessert provides. Therefore, if you have the same taste as me, keep an eye on the cooking time (preferably use a timer) to get the recipe right. It’s 45 minutes in a fan-forced oven, then switch it off and leave the custard finish cooking gently for about 3 hours or until the oven has cooled down before you put it in the fridge. By the way, I did not test this...