One of my favorite restaurants to go to is a Brazilian churrascaria (or steakhouse). For any steak lovers or people following the paleo diet, a churrascaria is food heaven. My favorite in Los Angeles is Libra Steakhouse in Culver City (crushes Fogo de Chao in my opinion).
I usually pick days that I go to Brazilian steakhouses to do intermittent fasting so that I can really eat to my fullest potential and create an insulin sensitive response, but that is another story. Regardless of how I pre-game, I always make sure to save plenty of room for the prime cut, Picanha. Picanha is made from the top cap sirloin (also referred to as Coulotte or rump-cap) and is considered the best cut of beef available in many South American countries. That is saying something when you are talking about countries like Brazil and Argentina that are known world wide for their prime steaks.
As much as I like the dining experience at Brazilian steakhouses, I also like to take something I like in a restaurant and put my own spin on it at home. Today, I went to the Brentwood farmer's market and had a talk with farmer Jerry from Novy Ranches, one of the top grass-fed farms in the US. Novy is known for their Angus Beef, which takes grass-fed steak to another level. In addition to being a farmer, Jerry is also one bad man in the kitchen and on the grill. Beef is his life and he doesn't mess around.
It is my pleasure to share Jerry's recipe and cooking instructions for Brazilian Picanha. It is even more of my pleasure to eat it. Feel free to thank me by inviting me over for dinner!
cast iron skillet
1 to 2 lbs. grass-fed top cap sirloin, aka coulotte (quality matters!)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt (or celtic sea salt)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- In a mortar, combine the garlic, salt, and olive oil.
- Crush the ingredients into a paste.
- In a large bowl, apply the paste evenly on both sides of the meat. Let sit at room temp for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (176 Celsius for my Canadian friends)
- After oven reaches 350 degrees, put cast iron skillet (greased with coconut oil) in oven for 15 minutes.
- While skillet gets hot, turn stove top burner to medium-high.
- Remove skillet from the oven and place on pre-heated stove top burner.
- Put Picanha in the skillet to sear for 2 minutes.
- Flip meat and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Cover skillet with aluminum foil and place in oven for 25 minutes. DO NOT cut into meat to check if it is done!
After 25 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and let meat rest for 10 minutes before you cut into it. Cut the meat perpendicular to the striations of the meat as this will provide more tender cuts of meat.