The Olympic Games this year are fast approaching and with the sun shining here in London, what better way to get into the Brazilian spirit than by hosting a BBQ with a Latin twist.
The Brazilians are not only famous for their love of Carnival but also for their love of grilled meat. The Churrasco, as native Brazilians refer to the BBQ is a staple part of their diet. So to get you in the mood to Samba your way through the games, we’ve put together a short guide to creating a sizzling hot BBQ guaranteed to be a hit.
Food & Drink
A typical Churrasco will feature a variety of highly seasoned meats on skews. Pop down to your local butcher and pick up a selection of cuts including pork, chicken, beef (fraldinha aka flank) and lamb. Picanha is also commonplace in Brazil.
Chicken hearts feature predominantly at a Churrasco but may not be met with same enthusiasm at a British BBQ. However, should you want to serve chicken hearts here is how to prepare them.
It’s worth noting, that some butchers offer ready skewed meats. This can be a great option and can be a real time saver on the prep front. For a Brazilian style spice mix, try blending and rubbing your meat with paprika, ginger, salt, garlic, onion, cumin, coriander seed, coriander leaf, allspice, cinnamon, pepper and chilli. Add a small amount of olive oil for easy coverage.
The national cocktail of Brazil is the Caipirinha, pronounced ‘Kie-Pur-Reen-Yah. Its made from cachaça (derived from fermented sugarcane), sugar and lime. The drink is prepared by smashing the fruit and the sugar together, and adding the liquor. It quite a nice touch to serve this in a punch bowl so guests can help themselves.
Should the Caipirinha not tickle your fancy, try one of these instead.
Here are two side dishes, rated in the top 10 best Brazilian recipes by The Guardian, to be eaten alongside your meaty medley.
Pão de queijo – small baked cheese rolls.
Makes around 20-25
- 100ml milk
- 100ml vegetable oil
- Pinch of salt
- 250g tapioca flour
- 125g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated
- 1 free-range egg
- Boil the milk with the oil and the salt, remove from the heat, put all the tapioca flour at once in the pan and mix well.
- Add the cheese and the egg and beat the dough until smooth, then knead into a ball shape.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Let the dough cool enough to handle, then grease your hands with some oil, take small portions of dough and form golf-sized balls.
- Line a tray with greaseproof paper and space the balls 2cm apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, until they are puffed and are golden. Serve warm.
Feijoada – sliced spring greens with sausages, rice and garlic
- 1kg dried black beans
- 400g sun-dried beef, cut into pieces, or 400g smoked pork ribs
- 400g smoked bacon, cut into chunks
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 300g large smoked sausages, cut into big chunks (Portuguese sausage is best, but chorizo will do)
- 300g small Portuguese spicy sausage or n’duja (regular sausages will suffice here if neither spicy versions can be found)
- 400g salted pork ribs (or any other cut of pork on the bone from the butcher)
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 orange, peeled, whole
- 1 shot of cachaça (optional, but recommended)
- 1 orange to serve, peeled and segmented
- In separate bowls, soak the beans, the sun-dried beef or smoked pork ribs (whichever you are using) and the smoked bacon overnight in cold water. Change the water in the morning and continue soaking to get rid of excess fat and salt.
- Drain the beans and put them in a very large saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
- Rinse the soaked sun-dried beef (or smoked pork ribs) and smoked bacon well, add to the beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a very large, heavy saucepan and pour in the olive oil, so it entirely covers the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add the sausages, salted pork ribs, black pepper and bay leaves. Pour in the cooked beans and meat and top up with water to cover them. Place the peeled orange in the centre of the pot. Let the stew simmer for 1½–2 hours or more, topping up with water as necessary, until the meat falls off the bone. Just before serving, fish out the bay leaves, add a shot of cachaça and serve with the orange segments.
Furniture & Decorations
Your guests will of course need somewhere to sit. Work out roughly how many chairs you will need. Ask the neighbours and even your guests if you don’t have enough.
If your garden is in direct sunlight, you should provide your guests with a shady option. A large parasol or gazebo should provide adequate cover.
Colour inspiration for tableware and decor can be drawn from the Brazilian flag. Think yellow, green and blue. Party Delights stock a variety of party supplies in these colours. Why not collect your ideas using a Pinterest board like this one.
Music & Entertainment
Aside from watching the games themselves, the Samba can conjure up the Carnival spirit at your BBQ. Said to be an iconic symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival, this musical genre and dance style can help get the party started. Spotify have numerous ready-made playlists. Just search for ‘samba’ and try some out.
Image sources from top to bottom: BBQ Meats,Caipirinha, Chicken Hearts, Feijoada, Pão de queijo, Carnival