Top Sirloin Cap (Brazilian Picanha)
The top sirloin cap, A.K.A. "Picanha", is the Queen of all meats. It is pronounced "pee-KAHN-ya" and is definitely THE specialty at Brazilian steakhouses. It is usually grilled and sliced off of a skewer.
It is not often carried in supermarkets in the US, but it is generally available by request at a butcher. It's relatively inexpensive and is packed with beef flavor. Tri-tip and sirloin steaks are often confused with the top sirloin cap, but a knowledgeable butcher will know exactly what you are looking for.
Traditionally, Picanha is seasoned with rock salt and nothing else.
Aeronautical Engineer, pilot, aircraft accident investigator with a life-long passion for cooking.
Prep Time: 03:40
Recipe Time: 03:00
139F / 59.4C
- 2.4lb (1,1kg) to 3.3lb (1,5kg) of Top Sirloin Cap (Picanha)
- 6 tablespoons of rock salt (If you prefer kosher salt, use 4 tablespoons instead)
- Black pepper to taste (Optional)
- Set your Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 139ºF / 59.4ºC
- Sprinkle the kosher salt on top of both sides of the meat. Apply pressure with your hands so the salt really sticks to the meat. If you want to sprinkle some black pepper, this is the time.
- Vacuum seal it into a BPA free plastic bag.
- With your Anova preheated to the set temperature, put the bag in the water, with a spoon on top of it to add a little weight to prevent it from floating as it cooks.
- After cooking for 3 hours, remove the plastic bag from the water and cut it open.
- Pat the meat dry using a paper towel. There are different ways to finish your Picanha. You can sear it using a torch, grill, pan, weber or if you prefer a roast touch, you can use your kitchen oven.
Finishing Steps - Kitchen Oven
- Preheat your oven to 480F (250C).
- Put the meat in a roast pan with a rack.
- Add some water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Even though people say this turns the process into steaming, the meat will not be in the oven long enough to create that much steam. In fact, it stops splattering and prevents your kitchen from smoking up.
- Place the pan in the oven and close the door. Generally, 10-15 minutes (each side) is enough to create a nice golden finish to the meat. It depends on the size and type of the oven.
- When both sides of the meat are golden brown and crispy, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board.
- Using the sharpest knife in your kitchen, slice it thinly.
- Red sauce spaghetti topped with fresh basil and grated parmesan makes an excellent companion to your Picanha.