Picanha, also known as rump cap or sirloin cap is the preferred steak in Brazil and almost carries celebrity status there. Picanha is cut with a thick layer of fat left on the top of the steak whilst the meat itself is fairly lean. It is prepared with a generous amount of salt and looks very, very cool when it is spinning around on a rotisserie. It is a relatively cheap cut compared to prime rib or eye fillet but the taste is amazing and in our book even better than the more expensive cuts.
The two best ways to barbecue Picanha are by using either the reverse sear method or looking super cool and using a rotisserie. The rotisserie will produce a slightly better result particularly when cooked over charcoal in the Weber Kettle. There is something mesmerising about watching the steak spin round and seeing the fat cap turn to a lovely golden colour and the smell that comes with it.
Like all steaks you can serve Picanha in many ways. We like to thinly slice ours against the grain and into a sandwich with spinach, rocket, chimichurri and a blend of mayo and peri peri.
- 1 rump cap, 1.5kg to 1.8kg
- kosher salt
- Source a rump cap that has about 1cm or half an inch of fat cap.
- Turn the rump over so the fat cap is facing down and using a sharp knife trim all the silvery membrane off.
- Once the membrane and sinew is removed you should be able to see the direction of the grain. Depending on your cooking method you have the option here to cut with or against the grain. If you're reverse searing the steaks then cut with the grain, if your using a rotisserie then you have the option to do either depending on how you plan to serve it.* Either way, cut the cap into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces.
- Cover the pieces in a generous amount of salt. Kosher is recommended because of its larger, consistent sized grains.
- Cook to your preferred level of doneness. We usually prefer medium rare for steak but with Picanha we like to take it through to medium. A medium doneness also gives the fat cap longer to golden up.
- Enjoy your Picanha!
*When it comes to the rotisserie setup you can prepare the steaks by slicing with or against the grain. If you plan to leave the steaks on the skewer when serving cut against the grain when preparing. This way when you slice along the long edge of the steak on the skewer after cooking you will be slicing against the grain. If you plan to take the steaks off the skewer for serving prepare the steaks by cutting with the grain and once they are cooked slice along the short side of the steak which will be against the grain.
Weber Kettles are available in both stores as are the rotisseries. When setting up use both charcoal baskets and face them opposite each other on the bottom grate with a disposable drip pan in between them. Fill both baskets 3/4 full. The Picanha should take around half an hour to cook with this setup. As always, use your trusty meat thermometer to check for doneness. The Outdoor Chef has hand held thermometers from Weber and Thermoworks including the Thermapop and Thermapen. Rotisseries can also be purchased for the full range of gas Webers.
Recipe and photos by Messy Benches. Visit www.messybenches.com