Carne-De-Sol can be literally translated as ‘Sun-dried Meat’ in Portuguese. In northeastern Brazil, preserving meat by salting and drying it in the sun is a common practice, and that’s where the dish comes from.
However, despite the name, most modern-day carne-de-sol recipes don’t require the sun to dry the meat. It needs salt, brown sugar and time. The wait pays off as the result is meat with a strong flavor and smooth texture. Our recipe uses beef rump heart as the meat, but you can also make the recipe with duckling, soft or hard.
History & Cultural Significance
Salting meat to preserve it is one of the most primitive processes in food preparation. This procedure is also called curing. Before the invention of refrigerators, this process was the most effective way for meat to last longer. An added advantage of curing is that it also changes the texture and taste of the food, making it more flavorful.
Northeastern Brazilians have been consuming sun-dried meat for over 400 years. The technique was brought to Brazil in the 17th century by Portuguese colonists. Today, this dish is served across Brazil with various unique and interesting preparation methods.
Despite the name, most modern-day carne-de-sol recipes don’t require the sun to dry the meat. It needs salt, brown sugar and time.
- Beef Rump Heart - 1 kg
- Coarse Salt - 3 tbsp
- Brown Sugar- 1 tsp
- Bottle Butter
- In a small bowl, mix the salt with the brown sugar.
- Cut the meat into 4 large pieces and dry well with a paper towel. Place the pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and salt mixture, spreading well with your hands to cover the entire surface.
- Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for two days. After the first day, open the bowl, drain the liquid that has formed and turn the pieces of meat over. Close it again and return to the refrigerator.
- After the second day, transfer the meat to a roasting pan and leave uncovered in the refrigerator for another day.
- Take the meat out of the refrigerator and cut each piece in half.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. When it is sufficiently hot, place as many pieces of meat as they fit, one next to the other and let them heat without stirring for about 1 minute without oil. Turn the pieces over with a spatula for an evenly browning.
- Transfer the golden pieces to a plate and repeat with the rest. Once all the pieces are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes while you wash the pan.
- Return the skillet to medium heat. Drizzle with bottled butter and return as many pieces of meat as possible in the pan again. With a spoon, sprinkle the meat with the hot butter for 4 minutes until the surface is brown. Take out the cooked pieces and repeat with the rest.
- Let the meat rest again for 4 minutes before slicing. Serve with corn couscous and chili pepper.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 2690mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 33g
Photo credit: Marcelo Träsel