Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Churrascaria Night

My most favorite restaurant is Texas de Brazil.  I don't typically overeat at restaurants, but I make an exception at this one.  It's so worth a pair of stretchy pants and a bottle of Tums later.  If you haven't heard of it or don't know what a churrascaria is, it's a restaurant that cooks its meat churrasco style which is sort of a rotisserie type of cooking.  It originated in Southern Brazil where gauchos, or cowboys, had fireside roasts. 
Texas de Brazil has a concept where "gauchos" walk around with skewers of a multitude of different meats and carve it for you at the table.  You are given a card to flip on one side if you want more or to the other side if you want to stop.  They probably have 15 different types of pork, beef, chicken and lamb.  And the salad bar is amazing!  I could go just for the many varieties of potato and pasta salads, imported meats and cheeses, many different marinated veggies, and even sushi.  I sound like a commercial now, huh.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we decided to have our own churrascaria night.  We cooked a lot of different meat, but the one I loved the most was the parmesan pork loin.  We marinated it the night before and then cooked it on the grill the next day.  It was so darn tasty that I ate some on a breakfast taco the next day!  And, no, my husband and son didn't walk around with skewers of it and carve it.  Maybe they should have.  I'll have to remember that.  The marinade we made was incredible and the meat was so tender.  And the parmesan cheese melted all over it made for a really tasty treat.  Other recipes I've read say to roll the skewers around in the cheese and return to the grill.  However, I couldn't figure out how to get the cheese to stick, so I just stuck it all in the oven and melted the cheese on.

Remember the pants called gauchos?

One 5-lb pork loin (not tenderloin)
1 T chipotle powder
4 T garlic powder
4 T onion powder
1 T dried oregano
1 T ground ginger
5 T seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 1/2 C red wine (I used Marsala just because I had it)
1/2 C olive oil
3 T dijon mustard
3 C shredded parmesan cheese (the real stuff)

Cut the meat into about 2-inch cubes and place them in two zipper bags. Mix remaining ingredients except the parmesan cheese in a bowl.  Divide it between the two bags.  Seal them up and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

Thread the meat onto skewers, discarding the marinade.  Grill over direct heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until done, making sure not to overcook it. Remove the meat from the skewers and place on a large sheet pan.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top, toss it around, and broil for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

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