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What is Churrasco?

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Churrasco is a Portuguese word which refers to grilled meat. The word is associated with different meats and different preparation methods in various areas of the world, with people across Central and South America making churrasco and various versions also being served in parts of Europe and in former Portuguese colonies in other regions. Outside of these areas, restaurants which serve cuisine from Southern and Central America may have churrasco on their menu.

One of the most famous forms of churrasco is the version native to Brazil. Brazilians have been barbecuing meat for a very long time, with cows being imported to Brazil by the Portuguese shortly after explorers began adventuring in South America. Brazilian churrasco is prepared in an open pit barbecue, and includes a variety of grilled meats, including organ meats, which are served with an assortment of sauces. One common way to serve churrasco in Brazil is in a buffet style method, with waiters carrying trays of meat around the room and patrons choosing which cuts they want.

Other regions of Latin America may grill or stew meats which they refer to as churrasco, serving them on bread, with tortillas, and in other ways, often with piquant spices. In some areas, the term is used specifically to refer to cuts of beef such as skirt steak. Various versions of this dish are also served in Portugal and France.

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A churrascaria is a restaurant which serves grilled and roasted meats. It could be considered roughly analogous to a steakhouse, although the serving style may differ. Instead of taking set orders from customers, the waiters may provide patrons with trays of meats they can choose from. More meat is constantly added to the grill or barbecue to ensure a steady supply of food, and portions are generous.

Some of the meats served may be surprises for some people. Goat, for example, is a popular meat in much of Latin America, and a churrascaria often provides some cuts of goat. Organ meats such as chicken hearts are also very popular in some areas. While these meats may not be familiar to many customers, they can be worth a try; people may discover a new flavor or texture which they wouldn't have had a chance to explore otherwise. Slow cooking tends to render the meat very tender and flavorful, no matter what animal it comes from, and people can play with seasonings and sauces at the table to find their favorite flavors.

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Valencia
Post 4

When I lived in South Korea I got way over excited to find there was a local town with not one, but two churrasco style restaurants.

Of course I tried them both, and the meat fest was always a pleasure. It was a bit strange overall though as the meats served were all quality cuts! No offal or even sausage in one of the places! There was rice but it was the plain white type. Better than nothing as I need a starchy food to complement the protein.

It's always pretty hard for me to control myself when endless meat is on offer! Who can complain when there's a guy willing to keep on slicing until you say stop?

angelBraids
Post 3

@Sunny27 - Thanks for the sauce recipe. At first I thought you were going to describe churrasco guatemalteco, which is my favorite meat dish in the entire world! (And I've tried plenty, being a real meat fiend!)

I had never been very interested in marinated meats until I fell for this one, so give it a try if you come across it in a restaurant. You could easily make it at home.

babylove
Post 2

We have several churrascaria's here in Southern California and one of them in located right here in my home town of West Covina. What I love most about the restaurant is that it's a buffet churrasco, and that you get to eat everything they have to offer at one fixed price. They don't have a menu to choose from.

It's not fast food though because the servers come around to the tables with skewers full of barbeque meats. You can choose anywhere from beef or pork to chicken and lamb. They even serve duck and rabbit. Another great thing about it is the huge salad bar which has got to be the biggest one I've ever seen.

Sunny27
Post 1

I love churrasco steak. There are a few restaurants here in Miami that serve the best churrasco. What I love most about the churrasco steak is not only its rich flavor, but the dipping sauce that usually comes with it.

It makes the steak taste amazing. I looked up a recipe for churrassco steak and in order to make the sauce that you dip the steak in you have to get a red onion, red wine vinegar, chopped onion and and chopped garlic along with some parsley. You just have to add a little salt and mix it together and it makes the perfect dipping sauce for the churrasco.

That is really half the battle in getting the churrasco to taste so good. Even if the churrascco that I make at home is not as good as the ones that I eat in a restaurant, once I put together the dipping sauce it still tastes pretty good.

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