From Marble in Joburg to Primal Eatery in Cape Town, live-fire cooking is trending in South African restaurants. Inspired by the likes of Japanese kushiyaki and Korean galbi, chefs are searing everything from steak to watermelon over an open flame. Now, another nation’s barbecuing technique is making its way to South Africa: churrasco, all the way from Brazil.
Churrasco is the name given to the barbecuing technique in which cuts of meat are roasted over open flames, typically on a metal skewer. You might find fish, chicken hearts and sausages on modern churrasco menus, but the focus remains on red meat and the pièce de résistance of the churrasco is the picanha, a cut from the top of the rump folded into a C-shape, grilled with a salt crust. The key is to show off the flavour and quality of the meat. It’s never smoked or covered in marinades, but rather seasoned simply coarse salt to enhance the meat’s flavour. A good churrasco can be enjoyed with friends, family and caipirinha – Brazil’s famed cachaça, sugar and lime cocktail.
Churrasco has its roots in the 17th century, when the tropeiros (missionaries and explorers) journeyed through southern Brazil. To sustain themselves, they made brief camps where they roasted meat over hot stone coals and seasoned it with ash. The tradition developed further on small farms, where gauchos (cowboys) celebrated special occasions by serving a giant meal of churrasco to the whole community. Over the years, the ritual of preparing churrasco has evolved into an important part in Brazilian heritage. Today, in the churrascarias all over Brazil, dedicated chefs keep the tradition alive, serving meat directly from the skewers, table-side, to diners who pay a fixed price and use a colour-coded card to indicate when they’ve eaten their fill.
Great churrasco is a fine art. Churrasqueiros learn to wait for the fire to reach the perfect temperature, to handle the knives, to choose the perfect products, and to understand the temperatures and how the meat sweats.
To honour this tradition, Tramontina produces the Churrasco series, a premium product made with the same sense of respect.
Tramontina’s Churrasco range is made with high-quality treated steel and Polywood – a shock- and heat-resistant wood that is dishwasher safe. The knives are long-lasting and feature a five-year warranty against manufacturer defects.
The Churrasco range also includes grills, tongs, serving dishes and carts to make your braai experience as effortless as possible.
Learn more about Tramontina’s range here.
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