Picanha is a popular beef cut in Brazil, taken from the rump region of the cow, hence its translation in English the ‘rump cover’ or ‘rump cap’.
The name Picanha, derived from the branding iron used on cattle, called a ‘pica aña’. Over time, this particular area on the cow, which received the branding, was hence named after the instrument that was associated with that region of the famous cut.
To get the full Picanha experience, it is recommended to use an organic charcoal to cook the meat on the barbeque. Traditionally in Brazil, pork fat is poured onto the grill to help prepare and ignite the fire, adding a unique flavour to the meat.
The blanket of fat a Picanha cut is topped with, provides a vast flavour that adds to the juices of the meat. When preparing the meat, it is important to score across this fatty blanket. Fat consists mainly of water, so when cooked it shrinks curling the meat, by scoring across the fat it helps prevent this.
Before cooking, roll the pieces of Picanha in rock salt and nothing more. A Picanha has lots of flavour so requires very little seasoning compared to other less tender cuts.
Once prepared, preferably place the Picanha onto skewers (if cooking onto a charcoal grill), which allow an even cooking process across the meat.
Now cook to your preference, whether that be medium rare or well done, and serve fresh off the skewers.
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