Origin: South American, Brazil
Method: Rotisserie, Grill, SmokerJump to Recipe
What is Picanha? A brief history
This cut of beef, above all others, probably did the most for me in terms of opening up my horizons to Nose to Tail cooking. Picanha is a part of the subprimal sirloin, and is basically the rump cap muscle. In America, this cut is typically divided into other cuts as part of the rump, round, loin, or as top sirloin steaks with the fat cap all removed. This is truly a shame, because this is one of the most tender, flavorful, prized cuts of the entire beef.
The cut itself was named after a picana, which was a pole used to herd cattle in Spain and Portugal. If it sounds a little familiar, it is one of the most popular cuts typically seen at Brazilian steakhouses like Fogo De Chao. In the U.S. you may also see the cut referred to as a top sirloin cap roast, coulotte, or rump cover.
Choosing and preparing the picanha
This recipe is extremely easy, and the most difficult part may be sourcing the meat. It is becoming increasingly more available at local butcher shops, and I even spotted a couple at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. If you truly want to splurge, you can order some wagyu picanha at Snake River Farms or KC Cattle Company. Both provide some fantastic AMERICAN WAGYU BEEF