Back in Sao Paulo, My guide Flora wanted me try something South American, to be more specific from Bolivia. The Bolivian community is the fifth biggest ethnic group in Brazil, about 250,000 based in Sao Paulo. I was taken to Feira Rua Coimbra, which was started because a Bolivian lady began selling street food in the square and it became a real point of referral for the community, they then developed a need to set-up a proper fair. Rene Quisbert has been proudly selling his Bolivian fare since 2007, his speciality dishes are dried lama meat and peanut soup. I have to say that I was not familiar with Bolivian food. Rene made me stir-fried lama meat which is shredded and served with a boiled egg, potatoes, corn and peanut soup (which he served fries on top of... A first for me!) I asked Rene why lama meat and why all the carbs? Lama meat? Because it is much leaner than beef and just as tasty and the carbs is due to the type of food that was traditionally served to workers in fields to sustain them through long working days,
Well, I have never seen or tasted street food quite like that, but the flavours do work and the combinations are like none other that I've tasted. The lama reminded me of dried beef jerky which I use in the next recipe for a spicy salad that would be ideal served for brunch.
My Beef Jerky Salad
- 3½ oz (100g) beef jerky
- 0.4 pt (250 ml) beef stock
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- Thumb-sized piece root ginger, peeled and grated
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1-2 tbsps reserved beef stock (from soaking beef jerky)
- Pinch caster sugar
- Sea salt and black pepper
For the crispy shallots:
- 4 banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
For the salad:
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
- 250 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 baby gem lettuce, leaves separated
- 250 grams French beans, trimmed and blanched
- Small bunch basil, roughly chopped
- Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- Small bunch mint, roughly chopped
- For serving:
- 4 eggs
- White wine vinegar
- Handful salted peanuts, crushed
- Lime wedges
Put the beef jerky into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
Pour the stock into a small saucepan, add the chilli, garlic and bring to the boil. Pour the hot stock over the beef jerky, cover with clingfilm and leave to soak for 10 minutes until the beef jerky has softened.
Strain the beef and reserve the stock. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
Tip the shallots into a small saucepan, cover with oil and set over a medium to high heat. As the oil gets hotter, the shallots will start to turn crisp and golden; at this point remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Season with sea salt while still warm then set aside.
Meanwhile combine the beef and salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss with the dressing then tip into a large serving bowl.
Heat a large pan of water to simmering point and add the vinegar. Crack the eggs into the pan and poach gently for 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and drain thoroughly.
Lay the poached eggs on top of the salad, scatter with the crispy shallots and crushed peanuts and serve with lime wedges.