Have you tried a picanha beef cut? If not, you need to add this one to your list!
If you are after something a little bit different this dish is perfect for entertaining or a special dinner. And, I guarantee that you will love it.
This is a super quick roast of really tasty and tender meat, that needs little preparation.
My advice? Get a piece of this beef and get a knife and fork ready for heaven on a plate!
Why you will love this dish
If you love to entertain this recipe is great as a hot roast dinner with potatoes and vegetables, or more casually served warm with the chimichurri sauce and a selection of salads. Either way, you won't be slaving in a hot kitchen because the cooking time is much shorter than for traditional roasts.
I do prefer my beef to be medium rare, but I know that some people prefer their meat more cooked through. I've included instructions to cook the beef to your liking.
About this beef cut
I love the fact that different countries have different ways of butchering meat. Of course, I have a pretty good knowledge of UK cuts, but all of that went out of the window when I moved to France.
I soon realised that many cuts were different and included bavette and onglet, which really had to be tried to be appreciated, even if the equivalent to brisket was nowhere to be seen! Now I get quite excited when I find a new cut that I've never heard of!
So what is a picanha beef cut? This is one of the most popular cuts in Brazil and, although you won't find this in the local supermarket, most butchers will be able to provide it.
This cut is the top part of the rump, also known as rump cap, (sirloin cap, or culotte in French). It's typically a small piece of about a kilogramme in weight, because the idea is to only use the part that is underused as a muscle. This means that it is meltingly tender and really juicy, thanks to the thick layer of fat on the top.
It's typically a crescent shape and can be roasted whole and cut into steaks or slices after cooking. It can also be cut into steaks first.
- Picanha joint - Typically it will weigh around 1kg or 2 lbs. If it weighs a lot more than this it won't be as tender.
- Seasoning - I prefer to keep this really simple with just salt and pepper.
- Onion - this acts as a trivet to raise the meat away from the roasting dish and is delicious served with the beef or used to make a gravy if you are having a traditional roast.
- For the chimichurri sauce you will need fresh flat leaf parsley, garlic, fresh oregano, extra virgin olive oil and chilli flakes
Remove the joint from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to cook it so that the oven can get to work straightaway.
Preheat the oven to 220C/475F/200FAN/Gas9.
Remove any excess moisture by patting the joint all over with kitchen paper.
Score the fat on the joint in a criss cross pattern. This will encourage the fat to render down further in the oven.
Place the meat, fat side down in a large frying pan or skillet and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until all the fat has a golden colour.
Turn the meat over and sear the bottom and sides for a few minutes.
⏲️ Cooking time
Peel and slice a large onion into rings about 1cm in width.
Lay the slices on a heavy based roasting tin and place the joint of meat on top. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook at 220C/475F/200FAN/Gas9 for 20 minutes then reduce to 190C/375F/170FAN/Gas5 for 15 minutes per pound or 500g. For this weight this equates to about 30 minutes. Check at 25 minutes that it is around 55C/130F internal temperature for medium rare.
If you prefer the meat to be rare aim for 50C/120F, 60C/140F for medium and 65C/150F for well done.
While the meat is cooking make the chimichurri sauce.
It's really simple. Chop the parsley, including the stalks. and crush or mince the garlic. Strip the leaves from the oregano stems and chop.
Combine all of the ingredients together to make the chimichurri sauce.
When the meat is cooked to your liking place it on a carving tray and cover loosely with foil.
Allow it to rest for 15 minutes before carving into thick slices.
It's often served with grilled meats or steaks and can also be used as a baste while food is cooking. Perfect for cooking on the barbecue, try it with spatchcock chicken, chops and steaks.
Chimchurri sauce originated in Spain and is often used in Paraguayan and Uruguayan food.
Serve this picanha beef cut with the chimichurri sauce on the side and a pile of roasted onions.
More fab roast dishes to try
Picanha Beef Cut with Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 kg picanha of beef
- 1 onion
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the chimichurri sauce
- 50 g parsley fresh, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon oregano fresh, chopped
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 220C/475F/200FAN/Gas9.
- Remove any excess moisture by patting the joint all over with kitchen paper then score the fat on the joint in a criss cross pattern.
- Place the meat, fat side down in a large frying pan or skillet and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until all the fat has a golden colour.
- Turn the meat over and sear the bottom and sides for a few minutes.
- Peel and slice a large onion into rings about 1cm in width and lay the slices on a heavy based roasting tin with the meat on top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook at 220C/475F/200FAN/Gas9 for 20 minutes then reduce to 190C/375F/170FAN/Gas5 for 15 minutes per pound or 500g. For this weight, this equates to about 30 minutes. Check at 25 minutes that it is around 55C internal temperature for medium rare.
- Chop the parsley, including the stalks. and crush or mince the garlic. Strip the leaves from the oregano stems and chop.
- Combine all of the ingredients together to make the chimichurri sauce.
- Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes before carving into thick slices.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.