Farm To Fork

How To Cook Picanha Roast

by Marie Williams on May 11, 2023

How To Cook Picanha Roast

Picanha roast, a beloved cut of beef originating from Brazil, has gained international acclaim for its tender texture and rich flavor. Its unique triangular shape, generous marbling, and succulent fat cap make it a favorite among meat enthusiasts and grill masters alike. However, achieving the perfect picanha roast can be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with its preparation. Fear not, as this guide will walk you through the steps to masterfully cook a picanha roast that will impress even the most discerning palates.

  1. Preparing the Picanha:

    • Start by trimming any excess fat from the surface of the meat, leaving about a quarter-inch of fat to render during cooking.
    • Score the fat cap in a crisscross pattern with a sharp knife. This helps the fat render evenly and creates a beautiful presentation.
    • Season the picanha generously with coarse salt, such as kosher or sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. You can also add additional seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or rosemary for extra flavor.
  2. Preparing the Grill:

    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 375-400°F (190-200°C). If using a charcoal grill, arrange the coals for indirect grilling.
    • For added flavor, you can use hardwood chunks or chips such as oak or hickory for smoking.
  3. Cooking the Picanha:

    • Place the picanha roast on the grill, fat side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes until the fat begins to render and develop a golden crust.
    • Flip the roast and sear the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes.
    • Move the picanha to the cooler part of the grill (indirect heat) and continue cooking with the lid closed. Cook to your desired level of doneness, typically around 120-130°F (49-54°C) for medium-rare or 130-140°F (54-60°C) for medium, using a meat thermometer to check for accuracy.
    • Let the picanha rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute evenly.
  4. Serving and Enjoying:

    • Slice the picanha against the grain into thin strips, ensuring each slice captures the perfect balance of tender meat and flavorful fat.
    • Serve the picanha with traditional accompaniments such as chimichurri sauce, grilled vegetables, or crispy potatoes.
    • Pair your picanha roast with a robust red wine or a refreshing caipirinha for an authentic Brazilian dining experience.

Cooking picanha roast is a rewarding culinary adventure that allows you to savor the rich flavors and textures of this prized cut of beef. By following these simple steps, you can master the art of cooking picanha and delight your family and friends with a mouthwatering meal that celebrates the essence of Brazilian cuisine. So fire up the grill, unleash your inner chef, and prepare to experience the sublime pleasure of perfectly cooked picanha roast. Cheers to culinary excellence and unforgettable dining experiences!


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