If you have not figured it out by now, I really like picanha. I have cooked it so many ways that it is not even funny anymore. From rotisseries, skewers, grilled and smoked, picanha was one of the first cuts of meat that I’d never heard of the first time I started grilling. To be fair, it wasn’t until about 2-3 years ago that it even was common to find at a local butcher shop! That might be the first place to start: let me explain what Churrasco Picanha with Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa even is.
What is Picanha?
While I have a long article that already explains what picanha is, all you need to know is that it is a cut of beef from the rump area on the cow (aka the butt). It has 3 points, is a decent size and usually comes with a large fat cap on one side. It is a traditional cut from South America that is served in many different ways; however, skewered and slowly roasted over the flames is one of the more classic styles to cook it. Finding picanha can sometimes be hard. Most whole animal butcheries should be able to cut you one, but if you do not have that luxury then you can find them at Porter Road or Wild Fork Foods online.
What is Churrasco and Vinaigrette Salsa?
Now, what is churrasco? Churrasco is a Latin American word for grilling/barbecue (for the most part). It can mean a lot of things, but it usually involves meat heavy dishes cooked over open flames. It can either be on a grill or skewered. They are usually slowly roasted until done, just like how we are going to make this Churrasco Picanha.
Lastly, the vinaigrette salsa is a must for completing this dish. While I will always have a soft spot for chimichurri, Vinaigrette Salsa is a more traditional sauce to serve with picanha, especially for Brazilians. This is an herb and veggies based sauce that is combined with white wine vinegar and oil to make it tangy. That tang is what helps to cut through the fatty cap on the outside of the picanha and make for a more complete meal.
Leaning Churrasco Picanha Next to the Fire
As for cooking this Churrasco Picanha, we skewer it onto my large sword skewers (you can also do this with more realistic skewers…) and lean it against the fire. Make sure to cook it over a medium heat so that you slowly render the fat but do not overcook the meat itself! Like I said too, you can easily do this on a grill with smaller skewers (without the leaning part). Just make sure to slowly roast it to get that nice and even internal temperature at the end.
Once the steak has hit your desired internal temperature, pull it off and let it rest for 20 minutes. This is the time to add all the ingredients for the Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa to a bowl and mix. Let all these ingredients combine together until they create that beautiful flavor!
Slicing & Serving Churrasco Picanha with Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa
When the steaks and salsa are ready to go, it is time for serving! Slice the steaks either on or off the skewers and top with the salsa. This Churrasco Picanha with Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa can serve a lot of people. So, be ready to ask your friends over! It is a savory, salty and tangy dish that goes with just about any occasion. Cheers!
Churrasco Picanha with Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa is one of our family favorites!
- 3 Picanha sliced
- Coarse Sea Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil
- 1 Green Bell Pepper diced
- 1/2 Red Onion diced
- 1 Jalapeño diced
- 2 Roma Tomatoes diced
- 2 tbsp of Parsley chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tsp of Scallions chopped
- 2 tbsp of White Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Begin by slicing your picanha into steaks going from edge to edge instead of top to tail. Once sliced, carefully form them into a “C” shape and skewer them onto the skewers/sword. Once they are on the skewers, secure them with wire if needed. Lather in oil and generously season with the Coarse Sea Salt. Add more salt than you might think as the fat will render and you will lose some salt in the process of cooking.
Preheat your fire/charcoal for indirect cooking around 350F so that the picanha can “lean” against the heat.
Add your skewers so that they can lean against the fire and cook slowly. Cook for about 30-45 minutes until they are 120F internal for medium rare. Rotate them 2-3 times to prevent flare up and so they cook evenly. Make sure to cook off some of the fat layer if you desire too! Once the steaks are done, pull them off and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Add all your ingredients for the Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa and mix together. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Slice your picanha either on the skewer or off. Top with the Jalapeño Vinaigrette Salsa and enjoy!
Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!