Food On A Stick

Churrasco: The Ultimate Food On A Stick

Naomi Wetmore Skewers

We all know that food on a stick is awesome. Kabobs, satay, corn dogs, mango con chili, popsicles, they’re all great from the savory to the sweet. However, the very best, the most primally satisfying, is Churrasco. Large chunks of meat, garlicky and salty, grilled on giant skewers over charcoal embers or gas flame are the superstars of any backyard feast. Eating Churrasco is like eating at a five-star restaurant. You are not sure what you can possibly eat for your next meal that won’t be horribly disappointing. Then you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. And you want to post pictures of the sumptuous feast to evoke the envy of people you went to high school with.

Churrasco is the shawarma of the Americas

They are often enjoyed by drunkards and pious teetotalers alike. They cook it on a rotating spit, and oneĀ couldĀ eat it alone. However, I bet it is far better tasting and more fun in crowds. Shawarma, an amalgamation of meats with heavy seasoning, are generally best for a sandwich with tons of toppings and sauces. It is very popular as a late night street food throughout Western Europe. Whereas Churrasco is a simple food that you serve with rice and beans and tons of side dishes. And their consumption is widely for lunch or dinner in Brazilian steakhouses (Churrascaria in Brazilian). Equally so in backyards, scattered throughout South America, North America, and of course, Portugal.

Remember not to confuse Brazilian Churrasco with Argentinian Churrasco

The latter is grilled and heavily seasoned flank steak. Brazilian Churrasco includes many cuts of meat from a variety of animals. But beef and chicken seem to be the most common. Most cuts are prepared with very simple marinades such as lime juice and sliced garlic. They are then allowed to sit for just a few hours and thoroughly coated with rock salt. Kosher salt is an acceptable substitute. The salt forms a hard crust as it we cook it. This is then cracked off, leaving behind juicy, not overly salty, deliciousness.

The barbecue master rotates the meat on the large skewer as it cooks. They do it to ensure an evenly charred hunk of meat. They pause periodically to slice off thin pieces for the salivating diners. One of the best things about this rotisserie technique is that each guest can have his or her food on a stick anywhere from rare to well done. Churrasco is the centerpiece of a communal meal with an individualistic spirit.

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