Beef Ribs with Sauce from Minas Gerais (Vaca Atolada Mineira)

Today, a more classic recipe that has undergone some minor changes here to make it easier for people outside Brazil to gather the ingredients and prepare the dish. Here is a traditional dish from Minas Gerais’ typical cuisine. There are two main types of recipes for this dish: one with a broth like liquid sauce, and the other type is such as the recipe presented here, is for a creamier and thicker sauce.

Yield: 5-6 servings
Total time:

Vaca Atolada Mineira - (5-6 servings)

* 2 and 1/2 lb. (1 kg.) beef ribs (ask the butcher to separate the ribs and cut them in half the lenght),
* 2 cloves garlic, minced,
* 1 large onion, diced,
* 1 can of cream of onion,
* 2 cups (500 ml.) diced tomatoes,
* 1 and 3/4 lb. (800 grams) cassava, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (leave some smaller so they will dissolve during cooking),
* olive oil,
* salt and black pepper,
* fresh parsley, chopped,
* white rice, ready to serve with this dish.


1) Heat the oil in a large pressure cooker (a cooker 4 liters or more in volume). Brown the onions and then the garlic.

2) Add the meat gradually and sear it on all sides. Pour in the onion cream and simmer a few minutes.

3) Add the cassava and the tomatoes then gently mix well.

4) Pour enough water to cover everything (3 fingers above the solid ingredients), season with salt and pepper, but we will finalize our spicing of our dish after cooking.

5) Cover and seal the cooker and, once the pressure has built inside, leave the heat setting to medium and cook for 1 hour (or until the meat comes off from the bones).

6) After this time, let the pressure drop, open the cooker and, if necessary, add more water. Mix well.

7) Extract a cup of the broth and a few pieces of boiled cassava and mash them until smooth. Put back in the stew in the pot and check the consistency. If you find the sauce too light, repeat the operation using a few more pieces of cassava (just make sure to leave some intact cassava pieces to follow the tradition of this dish).

Mix in the chopped parsley, mix well, adjust the salt and pepper and you are ready to serve, while still warm, with some white rice on each plate.

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