This dish is very dear to me, being one of my childhood favourites. I remember quite vividly being a very young child and asking my Mum, “Could you please cook us Carreteiro?”. It remained one of my favourite dishes throughout life. The name comes from the Carreteiros, people who transported goods in the past with Carros de Boi (bullock carts). My home state in the South was famous for the production of charque (salty beef, similar to jerky), which preserved beef and was ideal for such trips. This drove the creation of fairly big cities at the time, such as Pelotas. These travellers created something very simple to be consumed, simply adding rice and charque in a single pot.
Today, the traditional Carreteiro is still made with charque, but I personally always found it too salty. The dish can be found throughout in Brazil these days, with many different variations. It’s a great way of using the leftovers from barbecues, but also more simple versions such as using mince are very popular, along with diced beef. Being an old time favourite, I really wanted to try to veganise it. This was easy to do by simply replacing the beef with soy mince. It’s quick to prepare and I like the fact that only one pan is used in the process (yes, I’m a practical person!).
Brazilian Carreteiro – Serves 3 people
1 red onion
3 large tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tbsps of tomato puree
1 clove of garlic
1/2 pack of supermarket brand vegan frozen soy mince (approx. 227g). You could also use TVP or Fry’s have Beef Strips that are suitable for vegans that would work well too.
1/2 tsp of Paprika
1/2 tsp of Oregano
1/2 tsp of Basil
A few chopped Spring Onions for garnish (if desired)
1 cup of Easy Cook White Rice
- Finely chopped the onion, tomato, pepper and add to a lightly oiled deep saucepan that’s been heated on a low flame.
- Use a garlic press to mince the clove and add to the mixture.
- Add the beef substitute to the pan. If you are using TVP you may have had to already rehydrate this before adding to the vegetable mix.
- Add in the tomato paste and stir well to avoid the ingredients from sticking to the pan. Add in the herbs and spices.
- Boil the kettle. Make up the stock using the cube. It is 2 cups of water for every cup of rice you plan on using. This can be adjusted depending on appetite and how many people you are cooking for.
- Add the rice to the pan and then stir in the vegetable stock.
- Let it cook on a low heat, with the lid on, according to the packet instructions. Add some extra water if the mix starts to dry out too quickly before the rice is cooked through.
- Serve topped with the chopped spring onions – we call them green onions in Brazil – and some vegan Parmesan, if desired.
It is supposed to be slightly moist when serving, and it is not too dissimilar to a Spanish Paella. I hope you enjoy!
Thanks for reading,
Mr. Canny \m/
Like our recipes? Check out this easy to prepare vegan Macaroni Cheese dish here.