I know, I know… In L.A., much like in Rio where I grew up, we are lucky to have great weather all the time, and the summers are even better! For a Brazilian expat, who loves the outdoors, L.A. is just the perfect place to be! And, one of my favorite things about summer, and great weather days in general, are BARBECUES!
Growing up, we most often had the full-on real-deal Brazilian barbecue. I’m talking loads of different beef and chicken cuts, linguiças of all kinds, cheeses (yes, cheeses!) and loooots of side dishes and desserts. Sure, sometimes, we used the barbecue to prepare much smaller, simpler meals, but Brazilians have a hard time with keeping meals simple for the most part (you’ll see). We much rather party! Clichés aside, there’s also a more practical reason as to why we mostly have larger barbecued meals. You may already know this, but our barbecues are big, brick monsters that take time to light up and bring to temperature, so it just isn’t worth it to go through all that work for just a little cut of meat (we use natural lump charcoal sprinkled with some alcohol, lit up with pieces of newspaper and use a little fan to keep the air moving in there – good stuff!).
So, now I live in LA, in an apartment, without a brick barbecue – whomp, whomp!
Maybe you already know this, but, there’s this thing called “jeitinho Brasileiro” (Brazilian way of doing things) which is culturally known as Brazilian people’s creative way to work around every day challenges. So, instinctively, I thought “that’s it, I am building a little brick barbecue with a couple of bricks and some metal wire and stuff, yeahhh! It’ll be great!” then my friends reminded me of the size of my outdoor area and made me realize how pointless and suicidal that would be. So I resorted to a little gas grill, which I love!!! Of course it’s not the same, but its practical, serves me well, and helps me satisfy a lot of my cravings. I am happy!
One of my favorite things to grill when I miss home but want to keep it relatively simple are linguiças (Brazilian word for sausage). To me, the linguiça Calabresa, a spicy pork sausage flavored with calabresa peppers (also garlic, salt, sugar, onions, cilantro, rosemary and spices such as nutmeg) is by far the best. This is our most traditional sausage hands down and we use it for everything from grilling, to flavoring beans, or as an appetizer sautéed with some onions. I know, yum! I also love linguiça Toscana, the pork sausage most used in churrascos, and of course a good chicken sausage, both similarly flavored with garlic, onions, peppers, herbs and spices, and in general not too spicy. If you’ve been to a churrascaria (Brazilian Steak House) and ate a sausage, you likely ate one, or all of these (and I bet you loved it, didn’t you?).
Now, how about you make some at home?
Below is a simple recipe for a dish you can prepare with one of these types of linguiças, or all of them at the same time! Make it, take a picture, and post it on IG #CookingWithAline
But… first things first!
If you’re wondering… ughhhhh Aline, where do we buy this linguiça thing?
Well, truth is, you won’t find Brazilian sausages just about anywhere. But, you can look for a Brazilian market typically in an area with a high population of Brazilians (or Portuguese) immigrants. In L.A., that’s Venice boulevard, in the Culver City area. Check out below a couple of links my recommendations of where to find Brazilian linguiça or other types of sausage I love.
What about you? Do you have a go to place for your favorite sausage? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Brazilian Mall – To me, this is THE place to get linguiça here in LA.
El Camaguey – These guys aren’t Brazilian, but, they have a good number of Brazilian goods there. It is worth checking them out because they also have tons of other products from other Latin American countries.
Amazon – search for Brazilian pork sausage for barbecue – I’ve never tried the brands they carry, but they have some and they deliver. Let me know what you think if you try!
Butcher shops I love: These guys don’t have Brazilian linguiça, but they have great stuff and I Love them!
- McCall’s Meat and Fish Co in Los Feliz is my local go-to place for specialty sausages. They sell high quality, antibiotic free, sustainable products, and their sausages are ahh-may-zangggg!
- Marconda’s, and Huntington Meats both at the 3rd St Farmer’s Market also have a nice variety of sausage worth checking out.
K… now, let’s do this!
Start by preheating your grill to medium high. Then listen to some great Brazilian grilling music while you do the rest!
Meanwhile, cut the onions in half, vertically and arrange them face down on the grill with the whole bell peppers (place them on a hot spot, directly over the heat)
Make a boat with aluminum foil for the tomatoes and place on the grill (on a cooler area/not directly over the heat to avoid overcooking them)
Grill until the onions are charred, the bell peppers blister, and the tomatoes lightly blister (be very careful with the tomatoes so they don’t overcook), remove the veggies from the grill and let them cool to room temp
While the veggies cool, arrange the sausages on the grill
While the sausages cook, slice cooled onions and the bell peppers into thin strips and place them in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, the olive oil, the vinegar, and the chopped cilantro to the bowl and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let this pickle for 30-45 mins (or long enough for the sausages to finish cooking)
On another bowl combine the cooked rice and beans and set aside (you can keep warm or at room temp).
When the sausage is cooked through, cut it into chunks and add it to the bowl with the rice and beans.
Using a slotted spoon, add the pickled veggies into the bowl, draining most of the liquid. Stir gently. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve with some cilantro sprinkled on top