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Hmm, Trinchado! This South African Portuguese fusion dish needs no introduction to the average red-blooded South Africa. There’s something delectable about this dish, and it could just be that it’s a taste sensation with Mozambican, Portuguese, and South African flavours. Every family seems to have a “favourite” Beef Trinchado recipe or Chicken Trinchado recipe in South Africa!

What is Trinchado?

Most South Africans – probably even you – have eaten various versions of Trinchado over the years, but don’t actually know what the word “Trinchado” means. Trinchado is a Portuguese word that means “cut up” or “carved” in English. This makes perfect sense because a Trinchado recipe, when followed correctly, is a bowl of cut up or carved meat pieces braised in a spicy or mild Mozambican peri peri sauce. You’re already mouth-watering for it, aren’t you?

Before we take a look at 2 versions of this drool-worthy recipe, let’s delve into the history of the dish and why it’s now a South African favourite.

The History of Trinchado

Most South African families have their own family Trinchado recipe with a twist of their own, but where does the original dish, without the personal touches come from? If you do a bit of online research, you will find it quite difficult to trace the exact origin of the dish. The general consensus is that it was served as a tapas-style bar snack along with drinks in most Mozambican bars over the years. It made its way into South Africa when Portuguese immigrants moved into the country from Angola and Mozambique. South Africa, in true SA style, fully embraced the concept.

In Mozambique, a Trinchado is a type of stew that comprises of bits and pieces of what the bar/restaurant was selling that day. This means that it could contain a variety of meat types and seafood along with a selection of spices. It is served as a spicy stew that has been cooking for the whole day, making the stew tender, saucy and absolutely delectable. This dish is much the same when made in South Africa. It is served with fresh Portuguese rolls and if you are ordering it in a restaurant, there’s often the option of having it with thick cut potato chips.

That’s enough talk about history. Let’s look at how to make your own Beef and Chicken Trinchado.

Beef Trinchado Recipe

The first thing that you need to know is that while Trinchado tastes delicious, it isn’t hard to make at all.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1kg of cubed beef rump
  • 15g of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 large sliced onions
  • 2 hot chillies chopped up
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 20 black olives (remove the pip)
  • 45ml of peri peri sauce (Nandos Medium Peri Peri sauce is great for this)
  • 250ml of red wine
  • 250ml of beef stock
  • 30g of flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

What to do:

  • Add butter and oil to a large pot and lightly braise the cubed meat pieces until brown on all sides (so this on high heat). Don’t move onto the next step until the meat is properly browned.
  • Set browned meat aside on a plate and lower the heat to medium.
  • Add the sliced onions and chillies to the pot and cook them until they are soft. Once they are soft, add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  • Add the flour to the vegetables and stir while slowly adding the stock and red wine.
  • Add the set-aside beef to the pot, along with the olives, bay leaves, and peri peri sauce. Gently stir the mixture for a few minutes.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the pot and stir a few more times. Turn the heat down to low.
  • Let this mixture cook for 2 to 3 hours until the meat is so tender that it is almost falling apart.

Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

What about making a Chicken Trinchado? Is it the same recipe? Chicken Trinchado is typically made a little differently to Beef Trinchado. It is a creamier dish and doesn’t need to cook for quite as long as a beef Trinchado. Let’s take a look at a popular Chicken Trinchado recipe.

Chicken Trinchado Recipe

To whip up a delicious South African Chicken Trinchado dish, follow this recipe.

What you will need:

  • 400g of cubed chicken breasts
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 250ml of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large baked potatoes (cut these into 1cm cubes)
  • 2 fresh chillies chopped up (red are the best)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

What to do:

  • Sauté the onion in a pot with the 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Add the chicken to sautéed onions and brown the cubes. Make sure to brown the chicken properly.
  • Add your paprika, salt, and pepper to the chicken and then splash in your balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Fry for around 10 to 15 minutes and then turn down the heat to low.
  • Add the potato cubes and let the pot simmer gently for the next 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • When the chicken is ultra-tender, add the cream and stir it in. Once the cream is well mixed into the pot, the dish is ready to serve.

Both the Chicken Trinchado and Beef Trinchado can be served with fresh rolls or chips.

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