Here at Mr Pickles’ Yorkshire Food Emporium, we buy in the whole cow which means that we have a great range of cuts, including the more unusual steaks. Whereas the supermarkets might use shoulder tenderloin, featherblade and chuck eye for mince, we recognise the qualities that these cuts have to offer as individual steaks, as do our customers.
And, although the picanha is located on the top section of the rump, and so unlikely to end up in the mincer, it is still a rare steak that can be difficult to find in the UK.
Traditionally a South American cut, the picanha always looks impressive in the counter. Its triangular shape is quite intriguing and lots of customers want to try it because it’s something a bit different. At around a kilo in weight, we sell the picanha whole, or sliced into individual steaks.
With an impressive layer of fat capping the tender meat, the picanha is fantastic on the barbecue where it is traditionally cooked whole. Take the picanha out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before you want to start cooking and rub both the fat and meat with a little rapeseed oil and salt and pepper. When you’re ready to cook, place the picanha fat side down over a medium heat on the barbecue and cook until the fat has rendered and a form of crackling has developed. This will probably take around 20-30 minutes. Then flip it over to cook the meat side. How long it will take to cook will depend on the heat of the barbecue, the thickness of the cut and whether you like it rare or well done. Remember that not much of the heat would have got through to the meat on the first stage of cooking, as the fat acts as a protective barrier, so it may take a little longer to cook than you would expect. A meat thermometer will help you determine when it’s cooked to your liking, otherwise you could use the touch or finger test. Rest for a good 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving with chimichurri on the side.
Alternatively, if cooking individual steaks, allow them to reach room temperature for around 10-15 minutes then rub with a little rapeseed oil and salt & pepper. Keeping the oil on the steak rather than in the pan helps to stop it from sticking. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and fry the steak for a minute or so on each side if you like your steak medium rare, or longer if required. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the pan, keep warm and rest for around ten minutes before serving with chimichurri and your favourite sides.