“Stomach” is a 2007 film directed by Marcos Jorge, elected by the newspaper The globe as one of the 10 best Brazilian films of the decade. The name itself already suggests the carnality that we will find in the feature film. Prepare the stomach! Here pleasure is placed alongside human needs for physical or social survival, food does not only have the function of feeding, but is directly associated with power. The film shows us that those who master the culinary techniques end up ascending socially. And that is exactly what happens with our protagonist, Raimundo Nonato (João Miguel), throughout the film. We are shown that prestige and social disrepute are directly related to sex and / or food as elements of manipulation of power. The prostitute, whom Nonato falls in love with, sells herself for a good plate of food and ends up “eating”. There is always a contrast between physiological needs and pleasure at any cost, whether provided by food or sex, or even, as in some scenes, the pleasure provided by both at the same time.
Well, the film starts with the protagonist in jail telling what he learned about the millennial, but stinky, gorgonzola. The rest of the film develops from two time axes, the time of now (the chain), and the time past (its trajectory until reaching the chain). Nonato, our anti-hero, is a complex character, a northeastern migrant who has just arrived in the largest city in Brazil. It is initially presented with its characteristics of naivety and humility. Poor and hungry, he ended up staying in a small room in a bar. He develops his culinary skills and begins to change his destiny, which previously seemed to be doomed to mediocrity. Nonato raises the level and the respect of himself and the bar that he works, making a Coxinha that makes us want to enter the screen. With all this culinary potential, he is invited to work in “international cuisine with a family atmosphere”, the Italian restaurant Boccacio, where he takes lessons with the owner who teaches Nonato, in a more professional way, about the universe of Gastronomy, presenting ingredients, techniques and food culture. The protagonist’s somewhat misfit ethics takes him to jail, but we have no idea how he will get there. An epic outcome for an anti-hero, where delight is the biggest crime!
When I chose “Stomach” to debut my participation in this new column alongside Mari Mori, I thought about making the chicken drumstick so successful in the film, the meat pastry that stars an entire initial scene, the Pasta To Putanesca that Nonato’s lover heard that it was chic, the ant farofa that caused discord in prison, the Gorgonzola with the guava that the owner of Bocaccio prepared, Carpaccio which is mistaken for tick, pork and fish roasted at the prison banquet, or various other recipes that appear in this film that arouses different sensations. But I decided to do something that mainly celebrated the Brazilianness of the feature film and the protagonist’s rascal simplicity. I chose, then, the traditional recipe of pot meat with fried potatoes. The dish that maddened the owner of the Italian restaurant and made Nonato leave the old bar and go to Boccaccio’s professional kitchen.
- 600 grams of muscle in medium cubes
- 350 ml of dark beer
- 4 medium tomatoes without skin in half moon
- 2 large onions in half moon
- 1 medium grated carrot
- sauté olive oil
- salt to taste
- black pepper (freshly ground) to taste
- chopped fresh parsley to finish
- mini potatoes
- Sunflower oil
- salt to taste
METHOD OF PREPARING POTATO MEAT
- Season the meat with freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste and let stand for 5 minutes
- Let a pan heat up, add a little olive oil and seal the cubes little by little
- After sealed, add the onion in half moon and the grated carrot and saute until they wilt
- Then add the skinless tomato in a half moon to release liquid and start to untie the toast from the pan
- Pour the beer and cap
- Cook over medium heat for an hour and a half to two hours, or until the meat is very tender
- When necessary add water so that the broth does not dry completely
HOW TO PREP THE POTATOES
- In a saucepan put salt water to a boil
- When the water is boiling add the potatoes
- When you are able to put a knife and the potato comes out easily (cooked, but not too soft), remove them from the water
- Remove the skin of the potatoes and salt them
- In a frying pan put oil and seal the surroundings of each one
Always cook the potatoes with the peel, so that it concentrates all its flavor and does not lose it in the cooking water. It is essential to seal the meat before sautéing the other ingredients, in order to preserve the flavor and liquids inside. A few cubes should be sealed at a time so that the temperature of the pan does not decrease.
It is also important that the tomatoes are skinless, since at the end of the entire cooking process we will have a thick broth through the solids (tomatoes, onions and carrots) that will come apart. Do not forget to add water gradually so that the broth does not dry out. Salt the meat in the beginning, because if you try to correct the salt of the meat after it is in the broth, the salt will only take in the broth and the meat will remain unsalted. After salting the meat, just leave it for the broth at the end, as it will greatly reduce the flavor and seasoning. If you want a slightly more spicy touch, put a little powdered Bahian spice.