Mmmmm….grilled meat. Let me preface this post by saying if you are a Churrasco purist, move along, there’s nothing to see here. The only thing traditional about this recipe is the way the meat is cut, hence the title – Churrasco Style. It is my interpretation of the Central/South American classic dish.
For those who haven’t had Churrasco, it is a delicious take on grilled beef. It’s a traditional preparation in several Central and South American countries.
I fell in love with Churrasco on a recent trip to Nicaragua.
When I travel, I love to try traditional dishes and local favorites. I didn’t really know what to expect in Nicaragua, I figured with two coasts, the seafood would be outstanding (and it was), and given its geographic location, corn and beans were probably going to be staples. I quickly developed an addiction to plantains, both the sweet and savory varieties, and it was love at first bite when I was introduced to Churrasco.
Grilled beef is quite tasty on its own, but Churrasco takes it to the next level. There are a few things that make it special, the marinade and the sauces served with it, but it is the cut of beef, that gives it a melt-in-your mouth tenderness that I can’t really compare to anything else.
To make Churrasco, you need a butterflied beef tenderloin. You can get your butcher to butterfly it for you, but it’s not hard to do on your own. Here’s a quick video tutorial on the technique from eHow Food.
My recipe doesn’t call for a marinade and frankly, I didn’t feel the end result needed any accompanying sauces, it was so tender and delicious on its own, but if you want to try a more traditional preparation with a marinade, here’s an option. A good chimichurri would make a nice accompaniment.
And what’s that that you see alongside the Churrasco in the photograph? Grilled avocados! Have you tried them? You must. They are so easy to make, and they taste as good as they look. Just halve the avocados, squeeze on a little lemon or lime juice, brush them with a bit of olive oil and grill them, cut side down for about 3 minutes. This recipe from the California Avocado Commission has the details.
- 1.5 pounds beef tenderloin - butterflied
- 2 tsp Tasty Trail Dust (see our recipe on this site) or your favorite grilled meat seasoning
- Rub both sides of the butterflied tenderloin with the seasoning, let it sit for an hour or more.
- Grill over hot coals two minutes each side for medium rare.
- Remove from the grill, cover loosely with foil, let rest for 10 minutes before serving.