Archive | March, 2012

Brazilian Style Churrasco & Caipirinha Cocktails – An Ipanema Backyard Feast (Minus the Supermodels)

21 Mar

Brazilian Style Churrasco with Beef, Pork, Chicken, Potatoes and Caipirinha’s

Recipe by

Brasil, Brasil, Brasil!!! The country with the most World Cup Soccer Titles and home to some of the most beautiful beaches, super models (and the most plastic surgeons) in the world! Brazil is a country that knows how to party and celebrate it’s assets (and they have plenty)! Like their South American brothers and sisters from Argentina and Uruguay, they are proud of their grilling history and outdoor cooking. If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian Churrascaria, where wave after wave of beef is brought to your table until you fall into a meat comma, then you know what I’m talking about! Today I’m sharing my Brazilian Style Churrasco Fiesta that includes steak, pork, chicken, and potatoes in long metal skewers over an open wood charcoal fire for hours. Joining the fiesta is the traditional Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail! Think of it as Ipanema in your backyard but without the supermodels (unless you’re Hugh Hefner and roll like that), and feel free to throw on some green and yellow beach attire to get in that “samba” mood! Just don’t get too carried away like Zane Lamprey as your neighbors might complain. Grilling Brazilian style churrasco from Paggi Pazzo

As it seems Brazilians are born with a soccer ball velcroed to their feet (do the names Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho come to mind?), churrasco is as equally considered a birthright and the Brazilian culture permeates and celebrates their churrasco like soccer. Translation? There’s always a fiesta in the making. The authentic Brazilian churrasco calls for beef to be seasoned ahead of time with only salt, while pork and chicken are commonly marinated with olive oil, lime, garlic, and parsley overnight. To start my Brazilian style churrasco, I fill 3 chimney starters of hardwood charcoal, ignited with olive oil dressed paper towels underneath. While the charcoal is heating up, I place the beef and pork in skewers through the long end of the meats. For the chicken however, I roll them into a ball and place the skewer through each center while the potatoes are skewered the long way (that’s a lot of skewer talk). With the charcoal pit ready, I place the skewers across the grill (top to bottom rather than left to right) without grates, turning every hour to make sure all parts of the food are cooked evenly. I also add olive oil in an aluminum tray with chopped garlic and parsley to use as a mop to lightly brush on the steak as the churrasco process continues. We’re almost there, so don’t go all fantasizing about Ipanema on me just yet.Brazilian style churrasco ready to be served from Paggi Pazzo

Once done, I take the skewers off the grill and bring them to a cutting board and use a large cutting knife to slice the meat downward, preserving some Brazilian tradition in the process. Feel free also to dress your food with chimichurri, as even the Brazilians enjoy this Argentinian sauce. To accompany this Brazilian feast I made some Caipirinha, a classic drink of the country that is very sweet (similar to a mojito in that regard but without the mint) and the main ingredient is a Brazilian-made alcohol called Cachaça. A liquor created from sugarcane that will flatten you like a thundering Roberto Carlos free-kick if you’re not careful. So there you have it, Brazilian Style Churrasco recipe from Paggi Pazzo, time to Carnival!
Traditional Brazilian Caipirinha recipe from Paggi Pazzo

(All recipes combined are below but for specific recipes from this post, click on the following):
Brazilian Style Steak Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Style Chicken Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Style Pork Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Style Potatoes Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Caipirinha Recipe

Brazilian Style Churrasco Recipe
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 5 hours
Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 lbs. strip steaks (or skirt, flank, top-loin, or NY sirloin)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 (8 ounce) chicken breast fillets
  • 2 (8 ounce) pork chop fillets
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 limes
  • 4 long iron or metal skewers

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean steak, pork, chicken, and potatoes. Then chop 4 cloves of garlic and 1/3 cup of fresh parsley and in separate zip-lock bags, place chicken and pork but season with 2 garlic cloves (each), 1/2 of the fresh cut parsley (split in half for each), 3 tablespoons of olive oil (each), 1 freshly squeezed lime (each), and a teaspoon of salt and pepper (each), the let refrigerate overnight (take on at room temperature an hour before grilling)
  2. When almost ready to prepare grill, salt steak heavily on both sides with a dash of pepper and place long skewer through one end edge of beef going through the other end, almost as if you were making a giant beef kabob
  3. Do the same for pork but with chicken, roll fillets into a ball and pierce through centers with skewer (for potatoes, drive skewer through the center with longway sideways)
  4. Chop remaining garlic and parsley finely, then add to a small aluminum tray with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper
  5. Prepare charcoal grill: Add lump hard wood charcoal to 3 chimney starters with paper towel brushed with olive oil and lite to start fire
  6. Once charcoal is a nice grey color, remove charcoals from chimney and into grill pit, evenly distributed throughout with a small pile for a high-heat zone, but do not add grates onto grill
  7. Place skewers over charcoal fire just above heat with skewer ends touching the edges of the grill (you can add other meats and vegetables the same way to the fire if you’d like). Place aluminum tray of garlic, olive oil, and parsley mop onto grill if you have a higher-grate attached area not above the heat zone as it will be used to dress the steak every hour
  8. Slow cook for several hours, moving food to high-heat zone if necessary or not satisfied with cooking rate, and turn food once every hour so all sides of meat are cooked/grilled evenly. Lightly dress steak with olive oil, garlic, parsley mop also every hour
  9. After about 4-5 hours, food will be nice and crispy on outside and moist on the inside so remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes
  10. Keep food in skewers and slice down with thick cutting knife to serve as well as preserve Brazilian tradition
  11. Ready to serve and add a side of chimichurri if you’d like!

Brazilian Style Churrasco recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 8 ratings.

Brazilian Caipirinha Recipe
By Paggi Pazzo

Prep time: 5 min
Total time: 5 min
Yield: 1 serving


1 lime
1 & 1/2 shots or 2 ounces of Cachaça
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 cocktail shaker


1. Cut lime into quarters
2. Add lime quarters to shaker with sugar and muddle until a nice paste forms
3. Add Cachaça to shaker with ice and then close, mix, and shake for several minutes
4. Pour into a glass and ready to serve

Grilled Argentinian Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri – Giddy Up Gaucho!

8 Mar

Grilled Argentine Style Beef Ribs Recipe over a Wood Charcoal Fire

Recipe by

When it comes to slow cooking meat and beef over an open fire, few places do it like South America, and even fewer countries can do it like Argentina! Slow cooking meats over a wood fire for hours is a birthright for those within the country that calls the capital Buenos Aires it’s home. As well as the neighboring grill-spirit countries of Uruguay and Brazil. The smell of a wood fire just makes me wanna throw on a cowboy hat and gather up that cattle (what?!?!? You’re not feeling it???). Today I’m sharing my Argentinian Styled Beef Baby Back Ribs with Chimchurri to bring out the inner cowboy (and cowgirl) in all of us! Grilling Argentinian Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri from Paggi Pazzo

The traditional tried and true grilling recipe (and method) for Argentinian Beef Baby Back Ribs is to have the beef cut across bone, which provides smaller ribs but more tender meat as not all of the beef is attached directly on the bone. In Argentina, because the cows are grazed more naturally, the beef is even leaner and more tender so if you have access or connections to a butcher who sells, possesses or trades Argentinian beef, let me know and we’ll kidnap him!!! Just kidding of course (or am I???), but definitely venture at least once to see the difference. Unfortunately for me, I do not have Argentine beef or the style-cut available to me so I instead grabbed some American style beef baby back ribs and seasoned them the Argentinian way of heavy salt and light pepper. The salt brings the fat juices to life when cooked at slow temperatures (not unlike what the Florentine’s do for their Bistecca Alla Fiorentina). What makes this recipe “Argentinian style” is the slow cooking process of beef over a wood charcoal fire at low heat for hours and the heavy heaping side of chimichurri that goes with it.

To start my Argentinian style beef ribs, I wash the ribs thoroughly and then place on a plate or cooking sheet. I then season heavy with salt, a touch of pepper and a little bit of garlic salt. Then I start my wood charcoal fire with mesquite and oak wood chunks by filling up two chimney starters, lit with paper towel dressed in olive oil. Once the wood turns grey, I dump a majority on one side of the grill with a thin bed across the entire grill. I then place the beef ribs bone side down at the opposite end of the heavy-end of the charcoal fire and then watch them grill for hours! That’s all there is to it! I turn them opposite side over (still with bone side down) after about 90 minutes to 2 hours and let them keep cooking for another 90 minutes to 2 hours. When they’re almost done, I make a little pyramid for the beef to sweat juices down on one another – it’s a nice little trick that keeps the beef tender (once again trying to keep it classy here at Paggi Pazzo). Once done, I put them aside and have my chimichurri ready as a nice traditional Argentinian sauce to dress afterwards (chimichurri recipe is below and should be made a day before grilling your ribs). So there you have it, a simple and easy Argentinian Style Beef Baby Back Ribs recipe from Paggi Pazzo, Giddy Up Cowboys!

Grilled Argentine Style Beef Ribs from Paggi Pazzo

Argentine Style Beef Ribs Recipe

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 3-4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 30 mins
Yield: 4 servings

For Chimichurri:

  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For Argentine Style Beef Ribs:

  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 lbs. beef baby back ribs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. To prepare chimichurri, chop the fresh leaf parsley, garlic cloves, scallions, shallot, yellow pepper (seeded), bay leaves, and oregano into very fine pieces (or use food processor to pulse and chop all ingredients together).
  2. Add into a bowl or jar, all of the chopped ingredients (parsley, garlic, scallions, shallot, yellow pepper, and oregano) with salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, hot water, paprika, cumin, and crushed red peppers.
  3. Stir well for 5 minutes and allow liquids and ingredients to gel together.
  4. Store in refrigerator (covered and sealed) for 1 day and when ready to be served, allow to stay at room temperature for at least one hour.
  5. Wash beef baby back ribs and place on tray or plate, then season heavily with salt and a pinch of garlic salt and pepper (the salt will bring out the meat juices as it slow cooks)
  6. Prepare charcoal grill: Fill lump hard wood charcoal to 2 chimney starters with a handful of mesquite and oak wood chunks and chips, then light with paper towel brushed with olive oil under starters
  7. Once wood charcoal is a nice grey color, dump into grill pit with a majority of wood charcoal on one half of the grill and a small lower, heat zone at the opposite end
  8. Place grates back on grill and dampen paper towel with olive oil to rub across grates
  9. Add beef baby back ribs, bone side down at end of grill with low heat zone to slow cook ribs for several hours
  10. After 90 minutes, turn ribs opposite side around (with bone side still down)
  11. After 2 1/2 hours, stack ribs on top of one another to allow meat juices to sweat down on one another (repeat after 15 minutes moving beef ribs on bottom to the top and vice-versa). If ribs appear to be not as tender as desired, continue to slow cook until removing from grill
  12. Remove from grill and allow beef baby back ribs 10-15 minutes to cool before serving and add with a side of chimichurri
  13. Time to saddle up and go to town on some beef ribs, Giddy-Up!

Argentinian Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 6 ratings.

Click here for full Argentine Beef Ribs Recipe and Chimichurri Recipe or all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

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