Brazilian Picanha Steak With Chimichurri

Rate this post

Picanha is one of my favorite foods to cook directly over lump charcoal.

This cut is also known as top sirloin cap, rump cover, rump cap, or coulotte.

Whatever you call it, if cooked properly, it is very flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth meaty delight.

This cut of beef may be served in a variety of ways, including sliced with chimichurri, as a beef Po Boy, or with traditional Brazilian sides. With this variation, I’m going down the chimichurri route.

Grilled picanha steak

Brazilian Picanha Steak With Chimichurri

Picanha is usually prepared and cooked in three ways:

  • Cook it entire away from the heat source, generally with a direct sear before or after. You may find a reverse sear picanha recipe on our website.
  • Cut it into 1 to 1 inch thick steaks and cook it like a regular steak;
  • Cut it into thick 1 to 2 inch slices, then put it onto a rotisserie and let it baste in its own juices as it rotates.

I believe we all know which direction I’m going. Read on for more information, or watch the video recipe.

What you will need to make picanha

When you go to the butcher, be sure to ask for the fat cap to be left on. This will assist the meat in basting itself while gently flipping and cooking.

Try to acquire a rump cap that weighs at least 4.5 pounds. This allows you to fold the slices into horseshoe shapes that will fit on the skewer. If the rump cap is too tiny, folding the slices will be difficult.

As usual, get to know your butcher and let them know what you need ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Your butcher is more than eager to provide you with precisely what you want, so go talk to them.

If you don’t have a reputable butcher, the people at Porter Road will send a high-quality Picanha to your house, ready to cook.

You’ll need the following items to make cooking easier:

  • Charcoal grill, Im using a 22 Weber Kettle.
  • I use a Weber Rotisserie attachment, but any rotisserie would suffice.
  • Good quality lump charcoal.
  • A good quality internal thermometer.
  • A boning or trimming knife.
  • Juice crevices in a butcher block or chopping board.
  • A food processor (optional, but makes things simpler).
  • And all of the ingredients for chimichurri are mentioned in the entire recipe below.

Prepping the picanha

First, we must remove any silver skin that may exist. This will never render down and should always be removed since it does not eat properly.

We don’t need to cut the fat cap since the fat will render down a bit throughout the cook and those meaty fat liquids will gently keep basting the picanha during the simmer.

I have no clue how to make you hungry if you aren’t salivating by now as I am.

The picanha should next be cut into 1 to 2 inch thick pieces with the grain.

We’d want to skewer 3 to 4 pieces onto our rotisserie.

Because, unlike in Brazil, we will not be slicing this right off the skewer, cut the meat with the grain. I’ll set it aside to rest before slicing the picanha across the grain.

If we were cooking the picanha as steaks, our initial cut would likewise be with the grain, thus our final cut would be against the grain when we sliced it to consume after cooking.

Because rump cap has such a rich beef taste, it actually just requires Kosher salt before cooking. This not only accentuates the natural taste of the meat but also helps dry up the outside edges, resulting in a lovely bark or crust.

Once served, its crispy outside texture mixed with the soft delicate succulent center meat is one of life’s small joys.

Allow the salt to remain on the meat for at least 30 minutes before cooking, as with any seasoning.

Setting up your rotisserie

Picanha is an excellent rotisserie cut. The flesh gently rotates as the high heat renders down part of the fat cap, resulting in one of the greatest beef flavors you’ve ever had.

For this meal, I’ll be using lump charcoal and a 22 Weber Kettle with the rotisserie attachment.

If you already own a Weber Kettle, this is an excellent addition to add diversity and flare to your cooking.

I’ll be preparing to begin the cook at high indirect heat of roughly 400 degrees Fahrenheit by positioning two charcoal baskets filled with lighted lump charcoal on opposite side of the charcoal grate, with an empty tray in between to capture any juices.

With the rotisserie skewer immediately above and in between the baskets, there will be enough heat to begin the cooking process and render down part of the fat cap.

Because of the quantity of fat that will render down from the fat cap if you position the meat directly over the heat source, you will continually be combating fat flare-ups.

I’m also going to use cherry wood to give the final product a bit more depth of taste and a great lick of smokiness and color.

I want the picanha to be medium rare, so aim for an internal temperature of 125F before removing off the flame and resting for 10 minutes.

The inside temperature will continue to rise and should reach 130F 135F. Keep an eye on it since it will take approximately an hour to reach the necessary internal temperature of 125F while cooking on high indirect heat.

Tenting is just placing some aluminum foil over the top of the meat while it is resting. It enables accumulated steam to leave while keeping the heat in.

Skip ahead to learn how to slice the picanha if you aren’t preparing the chimichurri, although you really should be.

Making the chimichurri

In my opinion, pairing picanha with a spicy herbal chimichurri is a no-brainer.

When you take your first bite of slightly charred yet tender beef combined with the flavor explosion of the chimichurri, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been cooking this for years.

Less drooling, more making.

In a food processor, combine the garlic cloves, olive oil, and bay leaves and pulse until the garlic is finely chopped throughout the oil.

Then, wash and dry the fresh herbs and onions, roughly chop them, and add them to the mixture, pulsing until well combined.

Take care not to overdo it! You don’t want a purée, so leave some texture in there. You want to see some herb fragments in the mixture.

This chimichurri contains cilantro; however, some individuals have a genetic disease that causes this herb to taste like soap; thus, you may replace basil for cilantro; nonetheless, this will definitely modify the overall flavor of the chimichurri.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl with a spatula, then add the dry herbs and spices and whisk to combine well.

Slowly whisk in the red wine vinegar while continually whisking the mixture until you have a thick herbal vinaigrette with a beautiful strong sensory overload in the nose.

Set aside for the flavors to thoroughly blend and deepen.

Time to get the picanha off the heat

This is the portion of every cook that I like. Everything you’ve prepared is ready to come together and tantalise the palate, whether it’s family or friends, and you know you’re about to make a lot of people very happy.

Remove the rotisserie skewer from the fire. Remember that this is going to be hot, therefore I recommend wearing some heatproof gloves.

We’ll place the meat on a chopping board and create a juice fissure around the border to capture any overspilling juices. Tent this loosely with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.

While you wait for the picanha to rest, this is an excellent chance to prepare a few last-minute items. I like to give the chimichurri a good swirl to activate all of the ingredients and because I like the fragrance of it.

Now, take a wonderful crusty baguette and slice it diagonally into approximately inch thick slices to serve with the picanha and chimichurri.

Slice it up, across the grain.

It’s time to cut the picanha. This will need the use of a sharp knife.

Always slice across the grain.

When it comes to slicing picanha, there are far too many individuals who provide contradictory advice, due to the fact that you slice it first to cook it, then slice it again after it is done. This is all you need to worry about as long as the final cut is against the grain.

I prefer to slice picanha into inch-thick slices and arrange them on a serving plate or tray, season with salt flakes, and pour with chimichurri.

I do recommend doing it as soon as possible since sensory overload might result in a stampede and you could lose a finger if the scents strike your visitors’ nostrils.

Take a piece of freshly made crispy baguette and top it with a slice or two of picanha and a sprinkle of chimichurri. I recommend putting a couple on a platter, getting a cool drink or two, and finding a good quiet area to enjoy them; you deserve it.

Related Recipes Grilled Carne Asada


What do Brazilians serve with picanha?

Picanha is often served with Farofa at Brazilian steakhouses (also known as churrascarias). It’s not really a side dish, but it goes well with Picanha. Toasted cassava or cornflower, crispy bacon pieces, sliced onions, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and chimichurri sauce combine to make authentic Brazilian farofa.

What steak do you eat with chimichurri?

3. Best steak for Chimichurri Sauce – In South America, cuts like flank, flat iron, and skirt are popular for pairing with Chimichurri Sauce because they have a strong meaty flavor that complements this fresh, zingy sauce so well. Chimichurri, on the other hand, goes well with ANY steak!

What is the best way to cook picanha?

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a cast-iron pan over high heat. Sear the picanha steak for 2-3 minutes on the fat side, until browned. Then turn and sear for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. Allow for a 5-10 minute rest before slicing and serving.

Why is picanha so expensive?

Picanha and ribeye steaks are well-known and fatty, thus they are somewhat more costly than other cuts of beef.

What are 3 popular dishes in Brazil?

Here are 12 of the most renowned Brazilian recipes that you should taste if you visit Brazil.
Moqueca de Camaro is a kind of moqueca.
Vatapá Acarajé
Pastel that has been deep fried.
Bacalhau Bolinho.

Do you eat the fat on picanha?

You may eat the fat cap; in fact, most Latin American nations leave the fat top sirloin cap on for taste! It’s a buttery, silky fat layer. However, if you do not want to consume the fat, you are allowed to remove it. You’ll still love this tender piece of meat.

What pairs well with chimichurri sauce?

It goes well with grilled steak or pork chops, roasted chicken, poached fish, or sautéed shrimp. Drizzle it over grilled or oven-roasted veggie kebabs. Use it as a salad dressing for greens or toss it with cooked, cooled grains for a quick grain salad.

What do Argentines eat with chimichurri?

While chimichurri is a traditional complement to steak, it is also used to flavor almost every kind of meat meal in Argentina, from choripan (grilled chorizo) to meat empanadas.

How do you cut the bitterness out of chimichurri?

The bitterness of oxidation is avoided by whisking in the olive oil by hand. A dash of red wine vinegar adds tang and brightness to the sauce.

How do you tenderize a picanha steak?

Place the Picanha on a light cooking grate, allowing air to circulate on both sides. Sprinkle the remaining salt liberally over the newly cut slices and refrigerate for 24 hours (the dry brining will further tenderize the meat – the steaks will be a mahogany color at the end of the 24).

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *