With all eyes on Brazil for the FIFA 2014 World Cup, I thought we’d take a little culinary journey there too. Eat.Art’s Brazilian Gaucho spice mix is inspired by the rub used by traditional Brazilian cowboys (or gauchos) to roast their meat on an open flame.
Now, given the weather this past weekend, the only open flame we’d have access to would be a fire place for warmth – not ideal for braaing. However, if you use the highest setting on your stove, you will still get delicious caramelisation on the meat. You can use beef, pork or chicken with this spice mix – I saw a particularly delicious sounding option of ‘pork rib chops’ – the decision was made for me. Sometimes it’s the way I most love to shop – letting what is on the shelf inspire my dinner.
I adore fruit with pork – sometimes it’s sweet roasted apples with a roast shoulder – but in this dish, it’s a little more subtle. Fresh orange zest is tossed with the salsa and placed on top of the chops. When the sun does come out again, this will be a winner at any braai – taking it from a mere ‘chop’ to a culinary occasion.
for the salsa:
handful mixed cherry tomatoes, halved vertically
small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 avocado, cut into 1cm cubes
zest of 1 orange, with 1 tsp orange juice
Place a non-stick pan on the stove on a very high heat. Add the oil. While this is heating, rub all sides of the chops with the Eat.Art Brazilian Gaucho spice mix, making sure all surfaces are covered. Place in the oil – making sure it is very hot. Allow to cook on one side for 30 seconds, or until well-browned. Turn over and cook for another 30 seconds until the other side is brown. Reduce heat to medium and allow chops to cook for a minute on each side, until cooked through.
While the chops are cooking, make the salsa. Add the avocado to the orange juice and zest, tossing until well coated. Gently toss with the remaining ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.
When cooked, place the chops on a plate and top with the salsa. Enjoy immediately.