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Dec 31, 2012 12:33 PM

ISO brazilian carne seca

Saw some recipes for feijoada that called for this ingredient (dried beef) and really would like to make some....anyone know where I could score some? I know Allston used to have a fairly robust brazilian community in the 90's (it was CRAZY in my hood back then when Brazil won the World Cup!!!), maybe there is a brazilian provisioner out there? Ituanas, your ususally pretty knowledgable on this sort of thing?

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  1. I've seen in at Casa de Carnes, the Brazilian butcher in Union Square, but I haven't been in a couple of years. It's a fun store to check out either way.

    3 Replies
    1. re: deglazer

      Thanks for the reply, I see your screen name and can't help but hear the Pixies, "want to grow, up to be, be a DEGLAZER!" , lol. FYI, I have heard beef jerked is a decent substitute, any thoughts?

      1. re: devilham

        My first thought was that jerky might be a little too dry but I don't really know. Itaunas does, of course, as you see below. I'm a big believer in the dish over the ingredient though, so if it's way easier for you to use jerky (or grocery store dried beef) over a real brazilian dried beef, I say go for it. The point is to try making feijoada.

        (And yes there's a bit of Pixies in my handle, I want you to know!)

        1. re: deglazer

          I went ahead and made it with jerky, as at the time of the cookening, I hadn't gotten Itaunas (extremely well informed) thoughts on the subject yet, and am happy to say it worked fine. Maybe not 100% authentic, but it was delicous, garnished with fresh orange slices and white rice. I had some pork rib, linguica, fresh pork sausage and the aforementioned dried beef (plus the black beans, and etc.), and it was hearty and thank you all!

    2. I remember reading an articlr about Cafe Barzil in Allston and as a substitute they suggest deep frying beef and then adding it. No special stores or tools.

      1. I'd be pretty surprised if you couldn't get it at Seabra in Somerville. It's a large Brazilian market.

        1. devilham you shouldn't have much trouble buying dried salted beef at any Brazilian butcher or market with a Brazilian butcher. There are options in Somerville, Medford, Everett, Revere, Quincy, Framingham, Worcester, and so on. Sometimes they run out, but most carry it particularly for weekends. I can speak to some of those, but in general give a geography and I suspect you will get pointers. There was one opening in Allston, which I recently drove by but forgot to confirm that for real they had opened:

          Although names are used somewhat interchangeably in Brazil "carne seca" is generally an industrial product made with curing salts, tenderizers, and so on. "carne de sol" which is a similar idea is a "produto caseiro" or "artesanal" -- generally its made in smaller scale. carne seca is generally made from meats from the front of the cow (shoulder clod, chuck, even the front tendon). There is carne de sol "de primeira" and "de segunda" -- in other words "first" and "second" grades but those refer to the type of muscle and cooking time. carne seca generally has a much longer shelf life, particularly since there are varying levels of salting and curing for carne de sol. And none are dry like shoe leather (and some beef jerky).

          If you go to a Brazilian butcher and ask for carne seca or carne de sol for feijoada, you will get the right thing. What you will most likely get is carne de sol de segunda, although when the dollar was strong there was some imported carne seca available distributed out of NJ or NY. Even though its "segundo" they should be giving you meat free of nerves, blood, but probably with some gristle but in any case its a tougher grade not "b grade meat." If you want to make a small amount of feijoada, some vendors offer a "kit de feijoada" (quitte) -- either pre-packaged or put together by the butcher, which maybe an advantage as if you start buying ingredients alone its pretty easy to end up with enough feijoada for 20 people. I have seen those with salted beef.

          Carne Seca is often labeled in Brazil "jerked beef" or "Brazilian jerked beef" although I don't think that is really a good translation for modern American English. There are some parallels to corned beef (but spicing too strong for feijoada, even with Jewish corned beef), chipped beef (much thinner though), some mexican products, bresola, etc. Its much easier here to get the Brazilian product, than to look for a substitute and its also not too hard to make your own carne de sol. Contrary to the name "carne de sol" is rarely dried in the sun, but rather in the evening if put outside and quite frequently in refrigerators although I have seen some unusual techniques where the meat was cured/cooked in the sun in plastic wrap, then dried in the evening.

          1 Reply
          1. re: itaunas

            Thank you so much for the information Itaunas! I knew you would be a fountain of information on the subject, and you did not dissapoint. Gots to love the Chowhound community.