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Explore Brazilian Flavours: Beer & lemon marinated pork shank with cappelletti recipe

Last week, MENU was treated to an insider’s look at the gastronomy of Brazil. Brazil is one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries with a vibrant mosaic of flavours, colours and textures when it comes to local cuisine.

In taking a look at some of the essential Brazilian ingredients, it’s clear how varied and versatile these flavours are. For example, Brazilian Chef Mariana Valentini cites tapioca, originally enjoyed among indigenous communities but still a staple of Brazilian cuisine today, as one of her favourite local foods. Canadians may first think of boba in bubble tea when they hear ‘tapioca’, which originates in Southeast Asia. Made from cassava flour and used by Portuguese settlers as a substitute for bread when wheat was less abundant, Brazilian tapioca resembles a crepe and is a blank canvas of sorts as it can be made sweet or savoury depending on the filling, around which the tapioca is folded. Even without gluten and no added liquids or oils, tapioca will form in a pan as heat allows the cassava flour to bond.

Chef Mariana Valentini

To demonstrate the ease with which bold Brazilian flavours can be incorporated into menus, Chef Mariana put together this recipe for pork shank marinated in beer with lemon and red onion cappelletti.

Pork Shank Marinated in Beer with Lemon and Red Onion Cappelletti Recipe

Recipe by Chef Mariana Valentini

Serves 4




1 can lager beer

3 garlic cloves

1 red onion, diced

3 Tbsp. (8 g) fresh herbs of your choice (I recommend rosemary, thyme etc.)

Juice and zest of 2 Sicilian lemons

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1.1 lb. (500 g) pork shank

1 3/4 cups (200 g) mozzarella cheese, chopped or grated


1. In a blender, blend the beer with the garlic, onion, herbs, lemon juice & zest, salt and pepper. Leave the shank in this marinade overnight.

2. Bake the shank with the marinade covered with foil for 45 minutes at 280° Celsius, then uncovered for another 30 minutes. Let chill and chop the shank into small pieces and mix with the cheese. Reserve marinade.



4 eggs

1 2/3 cups (200 g) flour

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. (200 g) semolina

Salt, to taste

Powdered spinach, to taste (optional)

Water, as needed (if necessary)


1. Mix everything until you form a smooth dough. If necessary, add a few drops of water. I like to put spinach in half of the pasta.

2. With a pasta roll, make thin sheets of pasta and cut 8 cm circles.

3. Using the pork filling, fold them as cappelletti.



1 cup (250 mL) red wine

1 cup (250 mL) beef stock

1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock

1 carrot, cubed

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste


1. Add all the ingredients to the baking tray with the marinade used for the shanks.

2. In the tray, boil everything on low heat until the carrot is smooth. Blend and strain.

3. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with the cooked pasta, decorating with sprouts and lemon zest.


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