Let’s start with the picanha, the most typical cut of meat in a Brazilian steakhouse and a must for anyone discovering a churrascaria for the first time. Picanha, pronounced PEEK-hahn-ya, is a crescent-shaped cut of meat with the big cap attached (via Steak School) which, on a skewer, looks a bit like half a medallion. It comes from the hindquarters of an animal and is also called a rump cap, rump cap, sirloin cap, or sometimes rump cap.
Because it has a big cap that melts while cooking, picanha is a tender, juicy cut of meat perfect for slow cooking and often prepared with just a hint of salt. You can find beef, pork, or even lamb picanha depending on the restaurant, but all are solid choices if you want the authentic churrascaria experience.
Although you’ll be hard pressed to find picanha outside of a Brazilian steakhouse in the United States, the cut is incredibly popular in Brazil and is often found at kilo restaurants – a frequent lunch option similar to the all-you-can-eat buffet. except that you pay by the weight of your plate. BBC closeup visited a kilo restaurant in São Paulo and made a classic plate of grilled picanha steak that weighed around 5 kilos and cost around $3.50. Now that’s a lunch we can take behind!