Arroz de carreteiro (Mule driver's rice)

"Arroz de carreteiro", "paçoca de carne seca", "feijão-tropeiro", like so many others, are dishes of the "tropeiro" cuisine, and they are part of social and cultural history of Brazil. 
In the State of Piauí, "arroz de carreteiro" is also known as "arroz Maria Isabel", and is served with plantain "farofa".

Ingredients

  • • 250 g basmati rice
  • • 350 g beef jerky
  • • 1 medium onion
  • • 2 garlic cloves
  • chilli pepper, to taste
  • • 75 g lard or butter
  • • 400 ml boiling water, approximately
  • • salt, if needed

Preparation method

1. Cut the meat into small pieces, eliminate nerve tissue and fat and let to soak overnight. Change the water at least three-four times during the soaking process. 
2. The next day drain the meat, add enough water to just cover the meat and cook over gentle heat until tender. The cooking time depends on the meat's thickness and varies from 30 minutes to an hour. Drain the meat, allow to cool and, if you like, shred the meat. 
3. Wash the rice until the water becomes clear, then drain it. 
4. Chop onion and garlic. 
5. In a large pot heat the butter and brown the meat on all sides for a few minutes. 
6. Add the chopped onion and cook until the onion softens. Then add the chopped garlic and the chilli, and cook for a few minutes. Now would be a good time to add, if desired, a diced tomato and a diced bell pepper. 
7. Add the rice and toast it for a minute, stirring constantly. Add almost all of the boiling water, add salt and mix. When the water starts boiling turn the heat down, cover with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes. If water is fully absorb and the rice is not quite tender add a little more boiling water and continue to cook for a few minutes. 
8. Garnish with parsley or chives. 
9. Serve with "feijão mexido" (stewed beans thickened with cassava flour), stewed beans or plantain "farofa". 

Yield: 6 persons
Posted on: 18 November 2015
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