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Cooking Picanha or Rump Cap

Cooking Picanha or Rump Cap

Picanha or rump cap is a highly prized steak in Brazil and Argentina, but often overlooked in the UK. Cut from the best part of the rump and with a good layer of fat, this steak is tasty and tender when treated well.


Picanaha or Rump CapThe Picanha or rump cap is a deeply flavoured cut of beef. A covering of fat runs across the top and, as we know, fat means flavour. The picanha steak is one of the most popular and prized cuts in Brazil and Argentina where it is commonly barbecued on spits. The triangular picanha roast cuts are skewered onto spits where the fat bastes the meat and caramalises as it turns over the fire.

The rump cap is cut from the top (rump) of the hind quarter of the animal and so there are only a couple of decent sized steaks on each hind. Like rump steak, it is not naturally as tender as other steaks, but has a deeper flavour and when cooked properly can be just as tender.

Here’s a suggestion for cooking picanha at home:

  • Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  • Score the fat side of the picanahas in a diagonal pattern and sprinkle with some rock salt. Cover and leave out of the fridge to reach room temperature
  • Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or heavy based pan over a high heat.
  • Place the picanhas in the hot pan fat-side down. Turn down the heat to render the fat and continue to cook until you have a good golden brown colour on the steaks, around 6-8 minutes.
  • Turn over the steaks and colour the other side.
  • Put the pan in the preheated oven and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 10–15 minutes.You’re looking for a medium rare steak for best results, so the internal temperature should be around 40°c. Cut across the grain of the meat when serving.
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