The Dried Meat Farofa (Paçoca de carne seca)

When visiting the northeastern Brazil, you will see this appetizer called "Paçoca de carne seca”: in the south, in São Paulo, it is usually called Farofa de Carne Seca. Regardless of how people call it, it is an excellent side dish to try with most of your brazilian cuisine dishes!

The recipe below, describes a farofa with dried meat (charque or beef jerky). This recipe is hardly a new invention: it is just a classic, reformatted for ease and great taste. This dish has been served in Brazil for almost as long as dried meat was available. This dish is a traditional survival ingredient for cattlemen and travelers. The dried meat, pounded long enough with some cassava flour was all it took to feed them on their frequent long journeys.

Traditionally, mortar and pestle was used with the fried meat and flour to pound to blend it all into one crunchy powder, tasty and full of flavor. Naturally if you compare to the original dish, this easy recipe will be a little different, but the work saved is quite worth the adaptation, in my view.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Desalination: 18-24 hours
Total time:

Farofa with carne seca

* 1 lb. (500 g.) dried meat cut into 1 inch small cubes (2 cm.)
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 sprig of rosemary
* 1 red cherry pepper
* 1/3 cup (80 ml.) butter
* 2 large onions, diced
* 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
* 3 cups of coarse cassava flour
* 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste


1) The day before, wash the meat and place it to soak in the water. Change the water three or four times during the time the meat is soaking. The next day cook the meat in the pressure cooker with bay leaf, pepper, rosemary and half of the onions.

2) Drain well and shred the meat discarding nerves and fat. In a skillet brown the other half of the onion and 1 clove of garlic butter and saute the meat until cooked. Reserve.

3) After sautéing until the meat has dried, pass it in a food processor to give a ground. It is important for the meat to be dry for your farofa not to turn into a paste.

4) In the same pan add more butter, the other onion diced the rest of the chopped garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the manioc flour, mix well and add the processed dried meat.

5) Mix well the meat and go whisking until your farofa is dry and crispy. Add the finely chopped parsley.

For a finer and thin farofa, pass it one more time through the robot, but let it cool down before doing that.

Serve with any dish just like you would any farofa; it also goes well as a salad dressing.

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