Indulge in the mouthwatering flavours of Picanha Brazilian Steak, a culinary delight that has captured the hearts and palates of Brazilians and meat lovers worldwide. In this weeks blog post, we’ll explore the rich history behind this cherished dish, delve into its unique qualities, and provide you with exciting serving and pairing suggestions. Get ready for a gastronomic adventure!
A Brief History: From Pasture to Plate
Picanha Brazilian Steak, known by various names around the world, holds a special place in the hearts of meat lovers across different cultures. Often called the sirloin cap or rump cap steak in English-speaking countries, it’s known as ‘Punta Transeca’ in Venezuela and picanha in Brazil, Portugal, Spain, and other parts of Latin America.
This prized cut comes from the rear of the cow, above the butt, featuring a generous fat cap that adds a wealth of aroma and flavour when cooked. Despite being one of the priciest cuts of meat, picanha is highly coveted among Brazilians who recognise its exceptional texture and taste.
In Brazil, picanha is prepared by cutting the tip of the silverside, creating slices thick enough to bend, with the fat side facing outwards. These slices are then skewered and cooked over a flame. The Brazilian technique keeps the skewer a moderate distance from the fire, allowing the heat to cook the meat and render the fat slowly.
Why Brazilians Love Picanha Steak
Ask any Brazilian about their favourite cut of beef, and chances are they will rave about picanha steak. This steak’s delectable combination of succulent fat cap and juicy, tender meat sets it apart. The fat renders during cooking, imparting a luscious flavour and moisture that makes each bite truly unforgettable.
Brazilians have a profound appreciation for the communal experience of sharing a churrasco meal, too. (Churrasco – Portuguese and Spanish name for beef or grilled meat ) The joy of gathering with loved ones around a table, savouring the smoky aroma and heavenly flavours of picanha, creates a sense of togetherness and celebration deeply ingrained in their culture.
The Allure of Picanha: What Makes It Special
Picanha’s unique characteristics make it a standout cut among beef connoisseurs. Its distinctive triangular shape, with the fat cap covering one side, provides both basting and flavour enhancement during cooking. The fat melts and infuses the meat, creating a luxurious, buttery texture.
Picanha takes on an even more remarkable quality when sourced from ethically produced and grass-fed cattle. At Provenir, we embrace a paddock-to-plate approach, ensuring fewer food miles, reduced stress on the animals, and exceptional flavour. Grass-fed beef boasts higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, offering a healthier and more nutritious option for meat enthusiasts.
Serving and Pairing Suggestions
Now that your appetite for beef rump cap has been awakened, let’s explore some delightful ways to enjoy this culinary gem. Whether you’re hosting a Brazilian-inspired feast or looking to add a touch of authenticity to your next barbecue, these serving and pairing suggestions will make your taste buds dance with delight.
- Chimichurri Power: Enhance the flavours of picanha by serving it with a vibrant chimichurri sauce. The sauce’s fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil beautifully complement the rich and juicy steak. Drizzle the chimichurri generously over the sliced picanha, or serve it on the side for dipping.
- Brazilian Rice and Beans: Create an authentic Brazilian dining experience by pairing picanha with traditional rice and beans. The combination of fluffy rice and seasoned black beans provides a hearty and flavourful accompaniment to the succulent steak. If you can find it, don’t forget to sprinkle some farofa (toasted cassava flour) for added texture and authenticity.
- Grilled Vegetables: Lighten up your picanha feast by serving it alongside a colourful medley of grilled vegetables. As the steak sizzles on the grill, toss some capsicums, zucchini, eggplant, and onions with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grilling the veggies brings out their natural sweetness and adds a delightful charred flavour to the meal.
- Caipirinha Cocktail: Complete your picanha feast with Brazil’s iconic cocktail, the Caipirinha. Made with cachaça (a Brazilian sugarcane spirit), lime, sugar, and ice, this refreshing drink perfectly balances the rich and savoury flavours of the steak.
Ready to get cooking? Start with this irresistible Picanha Brazilian Steak recipe.
Picanha Brazilian Steak
- Begin by placing the sirloin cap (picanha) steak, fat side down, on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the steak into 1-inch thick pieces, cutting along the grain. Each slice will retain a layer of fat on the bottom.
- After slicing the steak (yielding approximately 6-8 slices, depending on the steak's size), proceed to season them. Start with a sprinkle of salt, followed by applying Brazilian steak seasoning.
- If you prefer the traditional Churrascaria method, you can opt to skewer the Picanha. Begin by skewering through one side with the fat, folding the steak, and then skewer it again through the opposite fat side.
- Preheat your grill to high heat, around 200°C. Place the skewers or individual steaks diagonally on the grill grates. Allow them to cook for approximately 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. If you desire medium-rare doneness, the steaks are likely done at this stage. For medium doneness, flip the steaks again, changing the diagonal direction to achieve attractive cross grill marks. Cook for another 5 minutes. Lastly, if you prefer your steak well done, flip the steaks again using the opposite diagonal direction and continue cooking for 5 minutes. The total cooking times are as follows
BROILER INSTRUCTIONS: Start by preheating the broiler on high heat. Arrange the skewers on a sheet pan and place them under the broiler. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until you observe a char forming on the top side. Flip the skewers and continue cooking for an additional 8-10 minutes. If it took 10 minutes to achieve browning and you desire a medium-rare doneness, you may opt not to flip them at all, as they are likely cooked to medium-rare. Total cooking times: Medium rare = 10 minutes, Medium = 15 minutes, Well done = 20 minutes.
STOVE INSTRUCTIONS: Another option is to cook the Brazilian steak on the stove. It is recommended to use a cast iron pan or grill that is suitable for stovetop use. Preheat the pan or grill over high heat and follow the grilling instructions provided in the recipe.
BRAZILIAN STEAK SEASONING: Combine the following ingredients to make the Brazilian steak seasoning: 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, and 1 tablespoon mustard powder.
REHEATING: To reheat the steak, allow it to come to room temperature first. Then, place it on a sheet pan in the oven at 135°C for 15-30 minutes, flipping the steak every 5 minutes until it is warmed through. This slow-warming method helps maintain the steak’s tenderness and juiciness.
Get Cooking Today
Now is the perfect time to embark on your culinary adventure with Picanha Brazilian Steak. Shop now and let your taste buds rejoice in the authentic flavours of the iconic Picanha Brazilian Steak! Visit Provenir’s website and discover premium grass-fed beef delivered straight to your doorstep. Experience the difference for yourself and create memorable meals that celebrate the art of paddock-to-plate eating.