By Chef Paulo Machado
One of the most consumed recipes in the Pantanal Gastronomy is the dried meat “paçoca”. It is a fundamental preparation for the cowboys or for the country man, who leaves early in the morning and needs to take some food “of conservation” and with good nutritional value.
Traditionally, paçoca is made with manioc flour or sun-dried meat with as little water as possible, so that it can be kept well out of the refrigerator for several days. However, this recipe is a little more elaborate. It is also known as “matula” – the name given by travelers to the snack they take on a trip to kill hunger. Here the meat is ground in a large mortar, as it is the weight of the stick of the utensil that grinds it. In other regions of the country, the same name is also given to corn flour piled with peanuts and rapadura, a sweet and delicious paçoca common in the Paraíba valley (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro). In the Pantanal, the pawn eats the paçoca with bits of brown sugar which gives it a bittersweet flavor and a special nutritious meal for the man who needs a lot of energy in the daily work of the countryside.
The preparation is undoubtedly one of the most delicious tastes in Food Safaris held in the Pantanal. See below how to do it.
1 kg of dried meat or beef jerky cut into large pieces
200 ml of corn oil or lard
1 kg of roasted manioc flour
5 garlic cloves, crushed in the pestle
way of preparing :
Soak the dried meat to remove the salt. In a medium saucepan, fry the meat well in the lard or oil. Add the garlic and let it brown. Once the meat is golden brown and tender, to the point of fraying, put out the fire and take it to pound. Punch and add the flour gradually, until it is well pounded, and the mixture is very homogeneous. The paçoca can be wrapped in bundles of corn straw and taken to the field and to the entourage, serving as a precious matula for the pawns during the famine.
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