Have you noticed that most Brazilian recipes start with sautéing garlic and/or onion in some sort of fat? That’s what we call refogado. And the Brazilian refogado is to Brazilian cuisine what sofrito is for Spanish, Italian, and a number of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines (any Puerto Ricans or Cubans out there!!?) – anyway, it serves as the foundation of a dish. I mean, uma delicia!!
The refogado, is pretty much the base of most Brazilian dishes, such as our day to day rice, beans, vegetables like collard greens, farofa, and more! It’s actually hard to think about a Brazilian dish that doesn’t involve a refogado.
But no sofrito, or refogado, is created equal.
Each culture/region/family has their own combination of ingredients that’s essential to their sofrito. Some people add tomatoes, some add peppers, some add spices, and others add herbs. All are different, but have one thing in common – Lotsa flavor!
In Brazil, the most common combination for a refogado is minced garlic and diced onion, and this form of refogado essentially serves as the base of the Brazilian food flavor profile. It’s our classic aromatic combo. It’s that one thing you smell when you walk into a Brazilian home.
Refogado | Brazilian Sofrito
All you really need to make a refogado for any dish is your fat of choice, diced onions and minced garlic. And there, you’re done!
But if you know you’re going to use this combination for pretty much every dish you make, then we need to figure out a way to ease the prep a little, right? I mean, raise your hand if you sometimes get home and the thought of having to do any prep before dinner actually hurts you physically? I get you. This one is for you, amigos!
My mom taught me this trick to save some time on the dicing and cutting, which is to just prepare a paste with garlic, onion and little olive oil. A little work up front, and a lot of flavor packed up in a jar of magic, ready whenever you need it!
Then, whenever a recipe calls for sautéing garlic and/or onion, you’re all set. Just scoop it into the the hot fat and move right along. Not only that! This is great to add to marinades as well!
All we need is about 10 minutes to get it all done if you’re using already peeled garlic (I do that a lot!). Or maybe 20ish mins if you’re peeling them yourself.
This super quick trick will change your life forever!
You’ll love it!
Make it, take a picture and share with me on IG by tagging me or using #CookingWithAline and let me know what you love most about your Brazilian sofrito!
- 1 large onion quarted
- 3 full large heads of garlic peeled (about a cup)
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and pulse a few times, until you reach a chunky paste consistency