When you need to wow a crowd, this Picanha Roast delivers. It is tender and juicy on the inside with a lightly charred crust you will love. Give it a try, and this simple recipe will become your go-to for entertaining.
Picanha is a cut that is popular in Brazil. (It is often called "Ribeye cap" or “rump cover” in the US.)
The meat is from the top sirloin and has a lot of marbling, making it an incredibly flavorful and tender cut. (Check out that fat cap - the layer of fat adds so much flavor.)
Whenever I go out for Brazilian churrasco, picanha is my clear favorite. I love its juicy, fatty texture and intense beef flavor.
Give this picanha beef recipe a try, and let me know what you think.
Ingredients for Making Picanha
- Pichana Roast: You want a roast that is about 3 pounds. If your roast is larger or smaller, you will want to adjust the cooking time.
- Sea salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper: These are the seasonings that I like to use on my picanha. You can adjust the amounts to taste.
- Avocado oil: This is my preferred oil for cooking picanha. It has a high smoke point and neutral flavor. Olive oil works, but I do not recommend cooking with extra-virgin olive oil due to the low smoke point. You can use your favorite oil.
Tips & Tricks
- If you can't find picanha at your local butcher or grocery store, you can ask them to order it for you. You can substitute another beef cut, such as a tri-tip roast.
- When cooking picanha, you want to aim for an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. This will result in a medium-rare roast that is juicy and tender.
- Let the picanha rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. This will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and juicier roast.
- Picanha is traditionally served with rice, beans, and a side of vinaigrette. I also like to serve it with roasted vegetables.
Picanha is traditionally served with rice, beans, and a side of vinaigrette. I also like to serve it with roasted vegetables, and sometimes I top it with compound butter.
Other great starters and side dishes for this picanha recipe include:
- Cast Iron Cornbread
- Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
- Baked Parmesan Asparagus
- Apple Cheddar Soup
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Picanha?
Picanha is a Brazilian cut of beef that comes from the top sirloin. In the US, it is sometimes called "ribeye cap" or "rump cover." Picanha is well-marbled, which means it has a lot of fat running through it. This makes it an extremely flavorful and tender cut of meat.
How do you cook Picanha?
Picanha is best cooked using the reverse searing method. First, you'll roast the meat in a low oven until it is nearly cooked through. Then, you'll sear it on a hot grill, skillet, or griddle to create a flavorful crust. This two-step cooking method produces a juicy, tender, and tasty roast.
What is the best way to season Picanha?
I like to season my picanha with a simple mixture of salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. You can adjust the amounts to taste. Other common seasonings include cumin, oregano, and paprika.
Tools Needed to Make Picanha
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- Heavy skillet (such as a cast-iron skillet) or Blackstone Griddle
- Roasting Pan
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer
You can store leftover picanha roast in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Picanha?
Yes, you can freeze picanha. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Make Picanha Roast
First, pat the steak dry with a paper towel.
Season the outside of the roast with salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper.
Then, place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate it overnight. This will allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat and give you a more flavorful roast.
If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step.
Next, bring the roast to room temperature for one hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the roast for one hour.
Finally, preheat a skillet or Blackstone Griddle to medium-high heat.
Add avocado oil to the cooking surface.
Place the picanha fat side down.
Sear the picanha for four minutes per side until it is seared and the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit at the thickest part for medium rare.
Let the meat rest for 10 minutes. (I recommend you tent with foil.) Slice against the grain and serve with coarse salt.
Looking for a sauce? You can use barbecue sauce, steak sauce, horseradish sauce, or chimichurri.
- 3 pounds picanha roast also called ribeye cap or rump cover
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Avocado oil
- Score the picanha using a sharp knife.
- Place the picanha on a roasting pan on a rack.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper.
- Rub the seasoning on the outside of the roast, and refrigerate overnight.
- Bring to room temperature for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200° F.
- Cook the meat for 1 hour.
- Preheat a skillet or Blackstone Griddle to high heat.
- Add avocado oil to the cooking surface.
- Cook the meat for about four minutes per side until it is seared and an instant-read thermometer reads 135 ° F for medium rare.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes, and then slice.