Mineiro risotto

“Mineiro” risotto with roasted pork tenderloin in a sauce of pineapple and maple syrup.

The “Mineiro” chef Caetano Abrantes is 27 years old and hails from Belo Horizonte, in Brazil. He has worked with cuisine for seven years, when he began as a helper at a hotel in his town. It was there that his passion for professional cuisine began. He was fascinated by the quality and quantity of the food and by the speed at which the dishes were prepared. He took a ‘kitchen technician’ course at Senac and before he graduated, he received an invitation to head the most important kitchen in the hotel. Today, Caetano is the chef of the Brazilian restaurant Rio 40 Graus, in Toronto. “When they invited me, I accepted the challenge: I packed up my knives and came to Canada in January of 2008. Here, I began to make some changes, in the way I worked, and in the flavour of the dishes. It’s great working here!”

  • Favourite food: beef on the pot with potatoes prepared by my mother, and my grandmother’s ‘pastels’.
  • Wish: To continue learning!
  • Dream: To express my creativity in my own restaurant.


For the tenderloin and the sauce

  • 1.5 kg of pork tenderloin
  • 1 medium onion cut into large chunks
  • 1 ½ cup red wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tablespoon flour
  • ¼ cup of pineapple cut into cubes (sautéed in 1 teaspoon of butter)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of maple syrup

For the risotto

  • 600g arborio rice (especially for risotto)
  • 600 ml white wine
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup onion finely sliced
  • 1.5 litre of vegetable stock *
  • 150g sun-dried beef, shredded
  • 150g smoked sausage cut into cubes
  • 100g black-eyed beans cooked al dente
  • 150g fresh cheese cut into cubes
  • 200g grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Collard leaves finely chopped and fried to decorate.

How to make it

Tenderloin preparation

In a baking dish, add the onion, wine, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic to the tenderloin and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning occasionally. After that, season the meat with salt and pepper and set aside. Strain the marinade and reserve the liquid. Place what was left in the sieve into a pan and place the tenderloin on top, baking it in preheated oven at 190ºC (375 ºF). Once baked, remove it from the pan and pour the liquid marinade over it. On low heat, let the mixture reduce by half and add the flour. Stir well and strain it. Finally, add the maple syrup and pineapple and cook it for two minutes.

For the risotto

In a saucepan, melt 1/3 of the butter and add half the onion. Before the onion starts to brown, add the rice, the wine and stir. Let the wine reduce almost completely. Add 2/3 of the vegetable broth, let it cook stirring from time to time. Remove from pan and set aside. In another pan, melt 1/3 of the butter, add the remaining onion, add the sun-dried meat, the previously fried sausage, the black-eyed beans and the remaining vegetable broth. When boiling, add the rice. Reduce the broth and when it reaches a pasty consistency, remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining butter, parmesan cheese and the fresh cheese. Mix well and serve immediately, placing the tenderloin slices over it. Top with the sauce and the collard for garnish.

* For the vegetable broth, add 1 onion cut into four, ½ sliced carrot, 1 bay leaf, a stalk of celery cut into four and 1700ml of water. Boil everything on low heat for 30 minutes, strain and use the broth.