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How to Cook Whole Picanha

Whether you’re grilling it Churrasco style, pan-searing, oven roasting, using sous vide, or reverse searing, this guide provides simple steps to make the most of this premium cut. Perfect for any dining occasion, from a casual weeknight dinner to a sophisticated feast, each method is designed to highlight the succulent quality of the picanha, ensuring a delicious and impressive meal.


Whether you're aiming for a simple weeknight dinner or a gastronomic feast, here are some tried-and-true methods to make the most of this premium native breed cut:

Skewer and Grill (Churrasco Style)

  1. Preparation: Season the Picanha liberally with coarse sea salt.
  2. Method: Skewer the meat through the thick fat cap, making a 'C' shape.
  3. Cooking: Place the skewered meat on a preheated grill, fat side up initially. Allow the fat to drip and naturally baste the meat. Turn occasionally.
  4. Time: Cook until the internal temperature reaches around 54°C (129°F) for medium-rare.


  1. Preparation: Season with salt and pepper or a rub of your choice.
  2. Method: Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a touch of oil and sear the Picanha on all sides.
  3. Time: Sear each side for about 3-4 minutes for a medium-rare finish, or until desired doneness is reached.

Oven Roasting

  1. Preparation: Season as desired and optionally tie with butcher's twine for even cooking.
  2. Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the meat in a roasting pan.
  3. Time: Roast for about 20-25 minutes per 500g (1 lb), or until it reaches your desired internal temperature.

Sous Vide

  1. Preparation: Season with salt, pepper, and any herbs you fancy.
  2. Method: Place in a vacuum-sealed bag and submerge in a water bath set to 54°C (129°F) for medium-rare.
  3. Time: Cook for 2-4 hours, then finish with a quick sear in a hot pan for that perfect crust.

Reverse Searing

  1. Preparation: Season as you wish.
  2. Method: Start by cooking the Picanha in the oven at a low temperature (around 95°C or 200°F).
  3. Time: Once it reaches an internal temperature of about 49°C (120°F), remove and rest before searing on high heat in a skillet to form a crust.

Each of these methods allows the exceptional quality of our North Yorkshire Picanha to shine, offering both traditional and modern cooking options.

Shop for Ingredients

Native Breed Beef – Whole Picanha – 1.5-2kg


Native Breed Beef – Whole Picanha – 1.25-1.5kg


Various Preparations for Picanha

When it comes to cutting Picanha, the method you choose can greatly influence the final dish. Here are some common ways to cut this premium piece of meat:

Whole Piece

  1. Purpose: Ideal for oven roasting or sous-vide cooking.
  2. Method: Leave the Picanha whole, perhaps tying it with butcher's twine for even cooking.

Traditional "C" Shaped Skewers

  1. Purpose: Suitable for Brazilian-style churrasco grilling.
  2. Method: Cut the Picanha with the grain into thick strips. Fold each strip into a "C" shape and skewer it through the fat cap.

Steak Cuts

  1. Purpose: Best for grilling, pan-searing, or broiling.
  2. Method: Slice the Picanha against the grain into steaks, each about 1 to 1.5 inches thick.

Thin Strips

  1. Purpose: Suitable for quick cooking methods like stir-frying.
  2. Method: Cut the meat into thin strips against the grain. This maximises tenderness.


  1. Purpose: Ideal for kebabs or stews.
  2. Method: Cut the meat into even-sized cubes, ensuring each has a piece of the fat cap for flavour.

Picanha "Picanhina" Mini Steaks

  1. Purpose: Great for tapas-style servings or appetisers.
  2. Method: Cut the Picanha into smaller, mini-steaks, either with or against the grain depending on your tenderness preference.

Triangular Slices

  1. Purpose: For a unique presentation.
  2. Method: Slice the Picanha diagonally to create triangle-shaped pieces, suitable for grilling or searing.

Each cutting method offers a different experience in terms of texture and presentation, and can be recommended depending on the cooking method and occasion.

Sides & Sauces for Picanha


  1. Grilled Asparagus: The charred flavour of asparagus can complement the smoky undertones of grilled Picanha.
  2. Roasted Root Vegetables: Think parsnips, carrots, and potatoes, possibly flavoured with rosemary or thyme.


  1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes: The creaminess of mashed potatoes works well with the robust texture of Picanha.
  2. Polenta: A smooth or grilled polenta can act as a delightful contrast.


  1. Classic Caesar Salad: The tanginess of the Caesar dressing can cut through the richness of the meat.
  2. Tomato and Mozzarella: A simple Caprese salad adds a fresh, Italian flair to the meal.


  1. Chimichurri: This Argentinian classic, with its herbs and garlic, is almost a universal favourite for beef.
  2. Béarnaise Sauce: For those who enjoy a touch of French luxury, Béarnaise offers creamy, tarragon-infused goodness.

Other Ingredients that Pair Well with Picanha

Herbs and Spices

  1. Rosemary: Its woodsy aroma complements the beefiness of Picanha.
  2. Thyme: Adds a subtle, earthy flavour without overpowering the meat.
  3. Garlic: Almost a staple in beef dishes, it brings out the natural flavours.
  4. Smoked Paprika: Adds a bit of smokiness and colour.

Oils and Vinegars

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Great for marinades or even a last-minute drizzle before serving.
  2. Balsamic Vinegar: The acidity can cut through the fattiness, making it excellent for marinades or reductions.


  1. Lemon: Lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice can bring a fresh, tangy element.
  2. Lime: Especially good if you're leaning towards Latin American flavours like chimichurri.


  1. Blue Cheese: As a sauce or crumbled, the strong flavours can be a bold but delicious pairing.
  2. Parmesan: Grated on top can add a salty, umami element to the dish.

Fruits and Nuts

  1. Red Grapes: As a side or in a salad, they bring sweetness and acidity.
  2. Almonds: Toasted and chopped, they can add crunch and nuttiness.


  1. Red Onions: Grilled or in a salsa, they can add sweetness and a bit of bite.
  2. Bell Peppers: Grilled or sautéed, their sweetness complements the savoury meat.


  1. Mustard: A dollop of Dijon can bring a sharp, tangy contrast.
  2. Horseradish: For those who like a bit of heat, it can be an excellent accompaniment.


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Hot Tips

Dry Brining: A sprinkle of coarse sea salt 1-2 hours before cooking can tenderise the meat and enhance its natural flavours.

Fat Cap Intact: Always leave the fat cap on while cooking. It self-bastes the meat, keeping it juicy and adding flavour.

High and Fast: Picanha loves a hot grill. Sear it quickly over high heat and then let it finish cooking over indirect heat.

Slicing: Whether you slice with or against the grain depends on your preference, but either way, make sure your knife is extremely sharp for clean cuts.



  1. Cabernet Sauvignon: With its full-bodied richness and tannic structure, this wine is a classic pairing for beef, standing up well to the bold flavours of Picanha.
  2. Malbec: Another red that is popular with beef dishes, Malbec offers a slightly softer tannic structure but still brings bold flavours.
  3. Zinfandel: For a fruitier option that can handle the meat's robustness, Zinfandel can be a delightful choice.


  1. Stout or Porter: The dark, roasted flavours in these beers can complement the smoky, grilled notes in the meat.
  2. India Pale Ale (IPA): The hoppy bitterness can act as a counterpoint to the fatty richness of Picanha, providing a palate-cleansing effect.


  1. Bourbon: The caramel and vanilla notes in bourbon can create a pleasant contrast with the savoury, beefy flavours.
  2. Scotch Whisky: Particularly a smoky Islay malt can bring out similar smoky nuances if the meat is grilled.

Non-Alcoholic Options

  1. Iced Tea: Opt for robust blends like Earl Grey or Assam, perhaps with a slice of lemon to cut through the meat's richness.
  2. Sparkling Water with Lemon: Sometimes simplicity is best; the bubbles and citrus can cleanse the palate between bites.


  1. Old Fashioned: The sweet and bitter components can balance the rich meat quite well.
  2. Margarita: If you're going for a Latin American vibe with chimichurri or similar, the tangy lime and tequila in a Margarita can be a delightful pairing.