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Jorge Baumhauer da Silva

(All the recipes in this blog post are the work of the illustrious Jorge Baumhauer da Silva, head chef at the Brazilian embassy in London and teacher at Kings College University.)

Cooking in saturated hues!

Espetinhos de Picanha

For the Skewers

200g of Picanha – Top sirloin cap

1 x small garlic cloves finely chopped or better, crushed under the knife blade into a smooth paste (chef will show how to do it).

1 x pinch of ground cumin

2 x sprigs of lemon thyme, finely chopped

20ml of vegetable oil

15g rock salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Perfection! Vampires are the coolest!

Preparation Method:

1) Cut the Picanha into pieces around 1.5 cm.

2) Sprinkle the rock salt all over the pieces of meat, toss slowly making sure the salt gets to all parts of the meat.  Leave in the fridge while you work on the other ingredients.

3) Crush the garlic into a paste, into a metal bowl, mix the crushed garlic, vegetable oil, ground cumin and chopped thyme.  Mix it all well to combine all the spices, add the meat into the mix, rub the mix into all the meat pieces. Skewer the meat on the bamboo skewer.  Reserve until you are ready to cook them.  Or alternatively as I have done leave the beautiful and bloody top sirloin cap whole as I have done.  Easier if you have small children as I do and limited time to pull of BBQ/Dinner.

The passion this guy has for Brazillian food is infectious.

Learnt some serious hot knife skills! Husband watch out!

4) Cooking the skewers: In Brazil these are normally cooked in a charcoal fire, over a griddle, the cooking point, should never be beyond medium rare for a juicer finish.

5) You can easily achieve similar result cooking in a pan or griddle over a flame cooker or hot plates or even induction hobs.   The key point is to watch out for the pan or griddle to be very hot before you place the skewers on. If the pan isn’t hot enough you will have a steamed meat not grilled.

Life doesn’t get any better!

(Remember iron in your diet is important.  a little bit of red meat each week goes a long way.  Even my yoga instructor advocates these words.)

For the Farofa

100g of Cassava grit

50g of smoked streaky bacon finely chopped

2 x sprigs of Parsley finely chopped

50g of Ghee

  1. Place a wok or medium-sized pan on the heat, let it get hot, sauce the bacon pieces to a nice colour and texture, drain the excess of fat out of the pan whenever needed.  Once done, place the pieces onto some kitchen paper.
  2. In the same pan, melt the Ghee, add the cassava grit, mix all together.  Let the cassava grit to be toasted,  Use a spatula to stir it or toss it by shaking the wok or pan.
  3. Add the bacon and right at the end the chopped flat parsley.  Reserve it in an open container until it is hot.

Well maybe with a cocktail or three….?

Cocktail Time – Caipirinha Cocktail!

(One for the summer solstice and the beautiful sunshine we’ve finally been blessed with here in London and Surrey.)

2 x limes

70 ml of cachaca

2tbp of golden caster sugar

ice cubes

  1. Cut the ends of the limes, then slice it lengthways, by making a “V`’ cut with your knife, slice off the core of the limes, then from each half cut 4 pieces.
  2. Place the lime pieces into the glass you will serve the cocktail, add the sugar over the lime pieces with a cocktail macerator or a rolling pin, crush the limes firmly.
  3. Add the Cachaca, with a sponge stir everything well to dissolve the sugar granules and combine the spirit to lime juice and sugar.  Add the ice cubes and enjoy it!

Contact Leiths to cook with Jorge.


On the theme of celebrating great Brazillian Literature as well as great Brazillian food here is another quote from one of my favourite authors Angelica Calheiros.

“Isn’t it what life is all about, after all?  A series of images that pass us by like towns as you cross a long road?  Then suddenly, a scenario stands and we know that image, that moment and all the feelings connected to it will remain alive no matter what?”

Emma xxx