In the early 1800's, European immigrants settled in the great wide plains areas of Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil, called pampas. Cattle raising was the primary way of life, and the men who worked the cattle (what we call cowboys) were known as gauchos.
The legendary gauchos lived off the land and tracked lost cattle for local ranchers. They were instantly recognized by their distinctive clothing: wide flat hats, woolen ponchos, long pleated trousers or loose baggy pants called bombachas, and knee-high leather boots.
There are many stories about the gauchos, about their lifestyle, their superb horse wrangling skills, and their appreciation of the land. The nomadic life of the gauchos eventually ended as settlements grew and they began to work on large company ranches. Today, gauchos still continue to be an integral part of the ranching areas of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.
It is their way of cooking, churrasco (shoo-rhas'co), that has inspired traditions carried on worldwide today. Since they had no way of preserving food, the gauchos would gather together after butchering a cow, and skewer and cook the large portions of meat immediately over a wood burning fire. The slow-cooked meat basted in its own juices and resulted in tender, flavorful steaks. It is with the same patience and careful preparation that we, at Gauchos Churrascaria, serve our prime rib, sirloin, and other choice cuts.