Picanha with Green Chimichurri

Picanha with

Think Brazil, and you think of bright colours, great music and beautiful people. What you don’t often think of is amazing beef – South America produces some of the best beef in the world. Many tourists travel to Brazil for Carnivale – the greatest party in the world. With my Picanha with Green Chimichurri Recipe, you can bring Carnivale to you!

Picanha with Green Chimichurri Recipe - The Meat

To begin with, you’ll need a piece of Picanha. Also known as Rump Cap, the Picanha is the most highly prized cut in Brazil. My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teacher tells me that in Brazil they cut a slice in the picanha to make a pocket and use a meat hook to turn it inside-out. Then they stuff if full of various ingredients including cheese, sew it shut and then roast it in a BBQ. For this recipe, we’re going to try a little fusion, taking our Brazilian Picanha and cooking it Texas low’n’slow style with a little comp-prep trick thrown in for good measure.

The first thing to do is grab your Picanha and using a sharp knife, cross-hatch the fat cap as if you were preparing a Christmas Ham. This will allow more of the salt to cook into the meat and also allow more of the fat to render away.

Not quite a Christmas Ham...
Vegemite - it's Australian for 'Umami'

Often done at comps, but not often done at home, is a meat injection. The idea is to flood the meat with extra flavour and moisture to give the judges a huge taste hit in just one bite. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it – just make sure you’ve got your Umami in there.

Considered the ‘fifth taste’ (after sweet, sour, salty and bitter) we’re using good ‘ole Vegemite. In a cup of recently boiled water, dissolve a teaspoon of Vegemite and a beef stock cube. Then stir in a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder and sweet paprika. Use your Injector to inject this mix all over your Picanha.

Next, liberally apply sea salt flakes to all of the surfaces of the meat. Once you’ve done all surfaces, do it again – beef is cooked with a lot of salt in Brazil.

Caution - you will be tempted to drink this!
Don't be at all shy with the salt...

Picanha with Green Chimichurri Recipe -

While the salt is settling into the meat, it’s time to prep your BBQ. You’ll need to have it set up for indirect cooking. That is, the meat is not directly over the heat source. In this case I’m using a Weber with a charcoal basket, Gidgee lump charcoal and some oak chunks for smoke.

At a steady 225F, a 1.5kilo Picanha like mine will take approximately 3 hours. However, you should always cook to temperature, not time. I like my beef medium rare, so I was aiming for an internal temperature of 130 – 140F.

Once it hits temperature, wrap the meat in foil, wrap that in a towel, and then pop it in an esky for at least an hour to rest.

On the grill it goes...
I could just pick that up and eat it with my hands!

Picanha with Green Chimichurri Recipe - The Sauce

In a previous post I shared a recipe for Red Chimichurri. This Green alternative eclipses even that. To start, pull all your ingredients out and then make sure your kid photo bombs your shot… Gr…

In a blender, combine:

  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 green Jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked chili powder
  • 1/2 cup coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 TBS fresh Oregano, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Put the sauce in the refrigerator to settle. The 3 – 4 hours that the meat is cooking should be perfect. This sauce is tangy with a hint of spice and it’s all kinds of awesome. You’ll be eating this on toast, it’s that good!

Cheeky bloody monkey!

Picanha with Green Chimichurri Recipe - The Whipped Potato

These potatoes are dead easy to prepare and after you’ve done it once, you’ll never have potatoes any other way. About an hour before you’re read to eat, simply get a kilo of white potatoes, chop them into chunks and steam them. If you don’t have a steamer, then boil them. Once they are tender, toss in two tablespoons of unsalted butter, a tablespoon of garlic powder and a tablespoon of onion powder. Then hit them with a stick blender. The stick blender will create the smoothest, fluffiest potatoes of your life, guaranteed!

Picanha with Green Chimichurri Recipe - 
Plating Up

Serving up is easy. Firstly, cut some slices off your picanha, about the thickness of a pencil, as you would a brisket. The salt will have formed a crust on the top of the fat cap that will be rich and crunchy. The juices will have redistributed within the meat making for incredibly moist slices.

Make a bed of potato and lay the slices on top. Pour on some of your green chimichurri sauce and top with some finely sliced green onions. Then, grab a cerveja, put on some Latin rhythms and let Carnivale take you away!

Medium rare - perfect!


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