By Livia Caroline Neves / Translation: Una P. Cavalcante
The primitive barbecue have been important in the concept of what, today, we call community. Since then, the barbecue crossed boundaries and reached the world. BBQ to Americans, Parrillada to Argentineans or Brasato to Italians; the truth is that right after the discovery of fire, the human being learned to grill meats, thus, making them more flavorful, tender, and easier to digest.
But the meat grilled over hot coals also brought out socializing cultural aspects: it was around the fire that the first human beings got together to share this delicious food. In this way, the primitive barbecue ended up being important in the concept of what, today, we call community.
Since then, when there were no beers as an essential part of a good barbecue (at least for us, Brazilians), the barbecue crossed boundaries and reached the world. Its obvious that each region has its own ingredients, varying the taste and manner of preparing the barbecue. Today, the barbecue is a source of gastronomic pleasure in many different cultures, oriental or occidental.
To Brazilians, coarse salt is the most used ingredient. Usually, we apply it to the meat and wait 15 minutes. Then we shake the excess off, and put the meat in the grill. Some prefer this basic recipe, but we may add herbs, special oils, and our personal touch to the barbecue. Meats with higher fat content may be marinated in wine with herbs, onion, garlic and spices. Lamb, for example, goes very well with garlic, rosemary, and white wine. Pork asks for slightly sweet flavors. Fish generally goes well with lime, olive oil, white wine and parsley. Chicken goes with almost anything. A hint to make the chicken crunchy, soft and juicy is to soak it in salt water, in the following proportion: 1 Tbs. of salt to each cup of water. Cover the chicken and let it rest 6 to 8 hours, then drain it and put it on the grill.
Below you find the ingredients (6-8 people) for the traditional “Campanha” sauce or Brazilian vinaigrette that usually accompanies any party that has a good Brazilian barbecue.
Chop the tomato and the onion in small pieces; mince the cilantro and the scallions. Add the olive oil, the lime juice and the vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Tip: Its better to make the Campanha Sauce on the same day you are making the churrasco and keep it in the refrigerator before serving. Its the favorite sauce when we talk about “churrasco” from north to south of Brazil.