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Metodi di cottura

The Picanha

La Picanha: from Latin America to Italy

Picanha is among the most renowned cuts of grilled meat. Recognizing it is very easy thanks to the typical triangular shape and the thick layer of fat that covers this anatomical cut - in Italian we also call it beef tail or topside tip. Latin America is crazy about it, and we can only take inspiration to bring a bit of hot atmosphere to our tables.

Picanha: a renowned cut and the super celebrity of Churrasco

Picanha is a typical and renowned cut of Latin America, and more precisely it is located in Brazil, where the preferred cooking for meat is on the grill. From here it takes the name of churrasco. The traditional barbecue which involves the use of a large quantity of red and white meats of which Picanha is always the undisputed queen! "Tonight we'll have dinner at the churrascaria!" is the ironic and immediate translation of Picanha into Italian.

The origins of this famous cut arise from the colonization of the southern region of Brazil. Amusing legends, probably with some grain of truth, say that during this period, the cowboys of the pampas - called guachos - prepared their meals to face the crossings with the herds, cutting large pieces of beef and transporting them on horseback.

The journeys were quite long and the preservation of the meat was an element of little importance since the strong flavor was the most delicious that could be obtained at the time. The salty and tasty effect was amplified by the passing of the days which, following the bad weather and the horse's sweat, contributed to increasing it. Cooking on improvised coals was the perfect method to savor the Picanha and maintain close contact with the territory. This is why grilling is preferred today. But the possibility of daring other cooking methods is equally stimulating and can offer excellent results!

La Picanha in Italian

To bring Picanha to the table it is necessary to have a particular cut of meat: the beef tail, the topside tip or the rump cover. The rear part of the animal offers particular cuts which, being close to the tail, are often rarely used areas. The muscles work little and this detail translates into tender, lean and tasty meat, enriched by fat which, dripping during cooking, exponentially increases a well-defined flavour.

Being a particular dish, the cut is also closely related to the region from which it comes. This is why it is necessary to inform yourself properly and reach your trusted butcher with clear ideas. The cut of meat is easy to recognize as it has a triangular shape and collects a rather thick layer of fat, which covers one of the surfaces: this is the key element that gives that particular flavor that only Picanha can offer!

Marbled Picanha Sashi

The Picanha, already delicious in its own right, can also be even more valuable if you choose this cut from the Sashi Beef, i.e. cuts of particularly marbled meat and therefore even tastier. Picanha Sashi has peculiar infiltrations of fat which give the cut a high level of marbling. Marbling is made up of those small veins of white fat that can be recognized among the red fibers of the meat in high-quality cuts. The higher the percentage of fat, the higher the quality, as the presence of fat increases the flavor and, by melting during cooking, makes the meat softer, determining the combination of juiciness and tenderness. Perfect combination for a perfect Picanha Sashi.

How to cook Picanha?

Tradition dictates that Picanha is rigorously cooked on the grill but imagination manages to create other cooking methods offering equally appetizing dishes.

The three optimal methods for cooking Picanha are:

  • the BBQ skewer which in Brazil is used so that the meat is within reach of the plate
  • sliced ​​for an unusual and tasty steak
  • whole for an authentic and sensational roast

Whatever method you choose to try, the ability to amaze that this cut of meat already contains in its presentation remains confirmed. The perfect climate is a Brazilian-style party, perhaps during one of the many summer barbecues, when together with a group of friends you choose to face the hot season with a pleasant evening spent in company. In short, you need to find a reason - any - to bring this easy-to-find cut of meat to the table.

Picanha al BBQ: Italian churrasco

Cooking Picanha following this methodology is simple as it requires strict compliance with only 3 steps.

  • Check that the cut of meat is composed of a layer of fat of at least 1 centimeter.
  • The cut must be made perpendicular to the fibers so as to obtain at least 4 slices to be skewered after having been folded to form a "C".
  • Finally, the salting which must be meticulous, by using Maldon salt it is necessary to take care of all sides - without leaving out the fat.

At this point, the Picanha is ready to be cooked. Do you have a charcoal BBQ available? Perfect! It is his favorite habitat. Pay attention to the flame which must not be too direct. Take care to keep the skewers moving, so as to allow the fat to melt enough to become caramelized and crunchy.

If you want to discover 5 perfect marinades for Picanha , our dedicated article is for you.

Pan-fried picanha

Quick, practical and tasty. Choosing to combine three adjectives with Picanha seems to be easy since it is a cut of meat that lends itself to different cooking solutions and methods while maintaining its authentic and well-defined flavor unchanged. The secret to getting juicy, flavorful steaks is to prepare the Picanha by slicing it in the same direction as the fibers. The thickness is preferable to be around 3 or 4 centimetres.

Cooking Picanha in a pan takes just a few minutes:

  • Place the steak in the hot pan and let the fat melt. You will thus contribute to the creation of the sauce;
  • when almost cooked, flip the steak onto the other side to allow the excess juices to escape;
  • to be accompanied strictly with the chimichurri sauce !

Fat-Free Picanha: The Perfect Roast!

The advice is to only partially remove the fat layer, as it allows the Picanha to offer its united flavor. Cooking is defined as indirect since it is carried out with two heat zones, i.e. the embers are placed on both one side and the other.

First you need to cut the fat layer of the Picanha along its entire length, creating a geometric figure similar to a rhombus. Coarse salt is the element that links barbecue to Picanha, which is why it must not be missing in this case too. It is precisely this ingredient that, upon contact with fat and fire, allows that delicious crust to form.

The Picanha in Italy

The cut of meat is particular but at the same time common. Picanha is multifaceted, in fact it lends itself to different cooking methods capable of maintaining its unique flavor unchanged. Picanha in Italy can be translated as the cut of meat which, coming from Brazil, helps to warm the soul on a summer evening. The ingredients to light the fire are all there or, if you prefer, the Picanha in the pan. The excuses are over, you just need to get the cut of meat and get to the stove.

Carne Genuina thinks of everything! In our online butcher shop there is the perfect Picanha for all the cooking you have just learned. In short, imagination, genuine ingredients and the desire for tasty meat! What is missing?