It can be a little confusing, but charqui, jerked beef and carne de sol (sun-meat)
are really different ingredients
You probably have tasted preparations with the three ingredients – specially if you travel through Brazil –, but possibly haven’t realized what is the difference among these meats, that are all salted and cured.
“The jerked beef (carne seca in Portuguese) is industrially made and is a little more salty than the others. You can’t use it without unsalting beforehand. After that, it is used in cooked preparations and farofas. You can also sauté it with bottled butter (clarified butter). On the other hand, charqui (charque in Portuguese) is a more artisanal salted meat. You can use it for the same purposes as the jerked beef and, although it is salted, it is not as dry as the other ones and you can just grill it to eat, because it results in a soft meat. The most common preparation with charqui is paçoca, which is a farofa made using a mortar”, resumes Thiago Andrade, chef from Instituto Brasil a Gosto. Find out the details of each one and don’t get confused anymore!
Carne de Sol (sun-meat)
It can be made with beef or goat meat. The meat is opened, cut into layers and lightly salted. Then it is placed to rest in ventilated places until it dries on the outside.
It is made with beef cuts and is typical from the South part of Brazil. The meat receives a layer of salt on each side and is placed to dry in a ventilated area. Sometimes this process is done above a wood burning stove, adding a smoked flavour.
Jerked Beef (Carne-Seca)
Its making process is similar to the carne de sol one but, instead of adding salt to the meat, the beef is soaked in saturated brine, piled and then hung to dehydrate.