Well-to-do families in the Southern state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil have open-fire pits in their homes. But don’t call in the builders just yet—you can re-create a churrasco experience on your backyard grill.


The robust flavors of an Argentinean Malbec are a natural with this South American classic; recommended producers include Catena Zapata, Bodega Norton and Bodega Renacer/Punto Final.

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 cup warm water
  • About 2 pounds good-quality beef, such as center-cut tenderloin
  • Tools: A large metal skewer, a large, sharp, slicing knife

Mix the salt, garlic, and water together in a small bowl until the salt is dissolved. Preheat a grill to medium hot.

Skewer the meat, then put the skewer on the preheated grill. Baste the meat throughout the slow-cooking process with the water mixture, turning the skewer regularly, until the meat reaches the desired degree of doneness. For a true Brazilian experience, regularly take the skewer off the grill, and place it vertically on a plate. Ask your guests to stick their fork into the part of the meat that looks good to them. Slice a thin piece of the meat from that section and serve. Return the skewer to the grill to continue cooking. Serve with a variety of cold salads.

Published on December 17, 2009