BRAZILIAN BEEF RAGU/ PICADINHODo you guys know that Brazil is at the 5th place as one of the most populated countries in this whole wide world ? I think besides remembering when I watched the Miss Universe Pageant when I was in middle school, Brazilian women often made it into the final 3 if not 5. But I don’t remember knowing anything about Brazilian food. Of course I can always argue that what to cook today hasn’t existed yet and I could care less, but still…That’s so wrong!!!!! So, I got this The Brazilian cook book by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz. I want to teach my kids to be open minded and learn cultures from different countries and I need to do that with myself before I can share that with them, don’t I ?

So, here I am, starting with the experiment with Brazilian food. As Leticia described it “Picadinho is the staple of Brazilian cooking like Bolognese is in Italian cuisine. This recipe does call for bacon or pancetta and in Brazil, they do not use bacon or pancetta. I do have to agree though, bacon or pancetta does flavor things up lol! It adds immense flavor to this dish. Picadinho is normally serve with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes. The Brazilian will serve it with farofa.


2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 lbs beef shoulder, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups veal stock (can substitute with beef stock if you can’t find any)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley


1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pan in batches, if necessary, so you don’t over crowd, and cook until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with aluminium foil so no steam escapes

2. Place the olive oil and pancetta in the same pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until lightly crispy, 2 to 3 minutes

3. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion, scallions, and peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables become soft and tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook while stirring, for another minute

4. Transfer the beef and all accumulated juices to the pan and stir. Pour in the wine and simmer until it has reduced by a little more than half, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, veal stock, and Worcestershire sauce. Season lightly with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours

5. Adjust the seasoning, add the tomatoes, and simmer for another 3 minutes. Spoon the picadinho over the starch of your choice and garnish with the fresh parsley



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