Wednesday, August 4, 2010

RECIPE - Home Style Cupim (Cupim Caseiro)

The cut of beef which is called cupim in Portuguese, and which comes from the hump of the zebu cattle, is a humble cut of meat. It is not one of what are known in Brazil as carnes nobres or "noble cuts." That title is reserved for the prestige cuts from the loin and the tenderloin. Cupim is a workaday cut and requires special care to ensure that it doesn't end up tough and stringy or fat and greasy.

This simply home style recipe for marinated and roasted cupim fits the bill, and results in a delicious plate of meat perfect for a family supper, or for a buffet table. Since cupim is not regularly available in North America or Europe, you can substitute any of the stewing cuts of beef, like chuck roast.
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RECIPE - Home Style Cupim (Cupim Caseiro)
Serves 8


For the marinade:
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin 1" (2 cm) strips
1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small japaleno or serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano
4 medium onions, cut into eighths
1 piece cupim or chuck roast, approximately 4 lbs (2 kg)

To cook the marinated meat:
1/2 cup brandy or cognac
salt to taste
6 cups (1.5l) light beef stock
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water


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In a large-sized Ziploc or other sealable plastic bag combine all the marinade ingredients plus the meat. If very large, the meat may be cut into two equal-sized pieces to fit in the bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 24 hours, or overnight, turning the bag over occasionally.

The next day, remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Drain the meat and pat dry with paper towels. In a large heavy pan or Dutch oven, brown the meat in a little oil until well browned on all sides. Heat the brandy or cognac in a small saucepan, remove from heat, then flame it. Pour the liquor over the meat in the pan. Let the flames die out.

Remove all the solid ingredients from the marinade, and add to the meat in the pan. Reserve the liquid marinade. Continue to cook over medium high heat until the onion is golden. Then add the reserved marinading liquid and the beef stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan.

Continue to cook the meat over low heat, maintaining the liquid at a simmer, for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Place the covered pan in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Skim as much of the fat off the surface of the liquid as possible, then slowly reheat the meat and liquid. When the meat is thoroughly heated through, remove it and keep it warm on a heated platter. Add the dissolved cornstarch to the liquid in the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cornstarch has thickened the sauce.

Slice the meat on the platter, and pour some sauce over each slice. Serve with additional sauce in a gravy boat, accompanied by boiled potatoes and a green vegetable or salad.

Recipe translated and adapted from Mais Você Culinária, TV Globo.

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