The steakhouses, or “churrascarias”, are perhaps the best representation of Brazilian cuisine around the world. This type of restaurant can be found in many different countries, but churrasco, the Brazilian name for barbecued meat, is not so widely known. Churrasco comes from a particular region in Brazil, the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
“Espeto corrido” style steakhouses first opened in the region back in 1968. Espeto corrido, which literally means “running skewers” is the name given to this type of food, which is served by taking the skewer and cutting a piece of meat directly onto the plate. Different cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken are served continuously, until the diner is full. Usually, the meal starts with chorizo.
The cuts of meat in the steakhouses differ in each region of Brazil, as well as the type of beef used, but it is well known that the most prestigious cut of meat is the “picanha“. In the United States, this cut of meat is known as rump cover, but it is not easy to find on the markets.
There is no secret recipe for churrasco. No sauce is used. The meat is only seasoned with salt. Always. If any type of churrasco, whether home cooked, from the countryside, or served in a well-known restaurant, has more than just salt, it is not true churrasco. The flavor of the meat depends on the cow’s quality of life, how it is fed, and also the type of wood used to cook the meat. The way the meat is cut is especially important, because the fat changes the taste. So it is fair to say that the taste of churrasco depends on the talent of the person cooking.
If you travel to Brazil it is a must to go for a good steak and enjoy the authentic flavor of the excellent meat in the country.
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