Churrasco is a Portuguese (IPA-pt: /ʃuʀasko/) and Spanish (IPA-sp: /tʃurˈrɑskɔ/) term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a principal ingredient in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries.
In Argentina, Uruguay and in the South of Brazil a churrasco is a thick cut of skirt steak. Gauchos would have grilled churrasco as part of their asado, now the national dish of both countries, served with chimichurri, salad and fried or mashed potatoes, and sometimes a fried egg.
In Nicaragua churrasco is filet tenderloin. It may be served with chimichurri sauce as in Argentina and is a very traditional dish in the country. Nicaraguan style churrasco is famous in Cuba, Thailand, Nigeria, and the US states of Texas and Florida. In Miami it has become a standard menu item in most hispanic restaurants.
In Guatemala, churrasco is regarded as a typical dish, often eaten in familiar gatherings and festive occasions. It is usually served topped with chirmol, a red sauce containing chopped tomatoes and onions, and accompanied by corn, guacamole, grilled potatoes , stewed black beans, rice and tortillas.
In Puerto Rico, churrasco is skirt or flank steak, which is grilled or stewed with peppers & onions.
In Chile, churrasco refers to a thin cut of steak which varies depending on the desired quality of the sandwich. The slices are grilled and served on a toasted bun, usually accompanied with tomato, avocado and mayonnaise, in the case of a churrasco italiano. Another popular dish, churrasco a lo pobre ("poor man's churrasco"), consists of a churrasco served with french fries, fried egg, and caramelized onions.
In Brazil, churrasco is the term for a barbecue (similar to the Argentine asado) which originated in southern Brazil. Brazilian churrasco contains a variety of meats which may be cooked on a purpose-built "churrasqueira", a grill or barbecue, often with supports for spits or skewers. Portable "churrasqueiras" are similar to those used to prepare the Argentine and Uruguayan asado, with a grill support, but many Brazilian "churrasqueiras" do not have grills, only the skewers above the embers. The meat may alternatively be cooked on large metal or wood skewers resting on a support or stuck into the ground and roasted with the embers of charcoal (wood may also be used, especially in the State of Rio Grande do Sul).