Photo: Jen Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower and Rishon Hanners
Picanha refers to the cut of beef from the rump cap.This signature Brazilian dish is cooked with the fat left fully in tact. You'll want this to cook over the flames and not directly on the grill grate in order to get some charring from the fat dripping on the coals and the resultant flare-ups. You can use kosher salt, but crushing the rock salt gives it a primal texture and a crust that is very pleasant.
1. To make steak, prepare a charcoal or wood fire or both grill to high heat. Spread coals, but maintain medium-high heat (450°-500°) throughout cooking process.
2. Place salt in a plastic zip-top bag. Crush with a meat mallet or heavy pot. Place beef on a sheet pan. Rub beef with oil. Rub salt into beef, pressing to adhere. Fold tip of beef over to wide side of roast with the fat cap exposed; thread onto a wide, flat metal skewer or sword.
3. Grab 6 bricks. Make two stacks of 3 bricks wide enough apart to balance your skewer on. You want the top to be about 18”-24” above the surface of the coals (see pic.). Straddle/balance skewer a top bricks. Cook until beef is lightly charred and a thermometer registers 135° in the thickest part of the loin. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Let stand 15 minutes. Slice steak thinly across grain.
4. To prepare chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Let stand at least 15 minutes. The longer it stands, the more the flavors will meld. Serve with a slotted spoon with steak.