Grilled Picanha

BY: Snake River Farms

  • cooking-duration 30 minutes
  • servings 2 SERVINGS
  • cooking-style grill
  • cooking-mode beginner

The picanha is the star of traditional Brazilian churrasco barbecues. A surprisingly flavorful cut, the picanha is rich and juicy and has a tender sirloin steak texture. While it can be roasted whole, this recipe call for cutting the picanha into steaks and placing them on skewers for an authentic presentation. Serve as is or make chimichurri sauce for a delicious combination.

Ingredients

Grilled Picanha

  • 1 Snake River Farms Picanha Buy Now

  • Kosher salt

*Optional: chimichurri sauce

  • 1 bunch flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped

  • ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (can sub 1 teaspoon dried oregano)

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (can also use a chopped fresh Fresno or jalapeno chili)

  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • ½ cup (approximately) good olive oil

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

1
Set up your grill for direct heat. The idea is to create a hot cooking area. A charcoal grill produces the most intense heat, but a gas or wood pellet grill can also be used.
10 minutes
2
Find the grain of the picanha. Slice with the grain (so you cut against it when served) and make steaks about 1 inch thick.
3 minutes
3
Fold steaks in half to form a "C" shape. Keep the fat cap facing outward.
2 minutes
4
Impale the steaks onto a solid skewer (stout metal skewers are best) Season generously with kosher salt. Note: You can also grill the steaks unskewered.
5 minutes
5
Place the skewered steaks directly on the grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side. You may need to continue to flip the skewers to reach your desired degree of doneness. Use a thermometer for accuracy. Target 125℉ for medium-rare and 130℉ for medium.
14 minutes
6
When the target temperature is reached, pull skewers from the grill. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Add chimichurri, if desired.
10 minutes
1
This is more of a guideline than an actual recipe. When at home, I just start chopping, blending ingredients and tasting for a balanced flavor. There’s no magic to the quantities listed above, so use your own palate and preferences to adjust.
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2
When I have Fresno chilis, I chop them fine and add them. Jalapenos work, but the flavor is slightly more harsh. I always have a good quality dried red chili flake supply in the house, so this is my default spicy ingredient.
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3
Don’t sub other types of vinegar. Red wine adds the perfect full bright flavor that makes this sauce shine. I sometimes add the zest from one small lemon and use lemon juice instead of, or in combination with red wine vinegar.
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4
Put everything but the oil and vinegar in a bowl and mix to combine.
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5
Add about ½ the olive oil to the mixture and stir. You want all the dry ingredients to be lightly suspended in oil and the overall consistency to be sauce-like. Add more oil as needed.
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6
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the red wine vinegar, then taste. You’re looking for a good balance of herbal and tart. Adjust to suit your taste.
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7
Taste and do a final adjustment of the salt, chili and vinegar levels.
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8
Optional: You can put everything in a blender and pulse lightly to chop and combine. It’s faster, but the hand-chopped version looks more appetizing, has more texture and is about 1,000 times better. But if you go that route, I won’t judge. Well, maybe I will, but not too hard.
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