The smoked Picanha Steak Sandwich is not your average smoked beef sandwich. Succulent picanha steak, pickled spicy veggies, cilantro ranch, and then a crunch of crumbled potato chips? Yes, you read that right! These tasty ingredients add up to an unforgettable lunch or dinner experience.
This sandwich, worthy of the best Brazilian steakhouses, is so full of great flavor that each bite will leave you craving more!
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love the Picanha Sandwich
- Picanha Steak Ingredients
- How to Make a Picanha Steak Sandwich
- What’s the secret to the best pickled red onions?
- For More Reverse Seared Steak
- What to Serve with Picanha Steak?
- Leftovers & Reheating
- FAQs for Picanha Steak Sandwich:
- This sauce is FYR!
- Picanha Steak Sandwich Recipe
Why You’ll Love the Picanha Sandwich
The next time you want to level up your sandwich game, do yourself a favor and consider making this Picanha Steak Sandwich.
Picanha steak, also known as sirloin cap steak or coulotte, is a prized cut of beef in Brazilian cuisine. Sourced from the top sirloin primal cut, picanha is known for its enhanced flavor and juiciness because of its thick fat cap.
Picanha Steak Ingredients
- The Cut – Picanha is known for being a tender cut of meat. If you have any trouble finding these rump cap steaks, ask your local butcher if he or she can source a top sirloin cap steak for you.
- Spicy Flavor – Mesquite Peppercorn Lager Rub is my special rub that features the bold combination of mesquite, peppercorns, and lager, adding a smoky and savory flavor profile to the picanha.
- The Binder: A neutral oil like canola oil acts as a binder for the rub, therefore ensuring that it adheres to the picanha steak. Olive oil is another good option if you like a bolder flavor.
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Pickled Red Onions & Jalapenos
- The Onions: Red onion, thinly sliced and pickled overnight, brings a sweet and tangy crunch to this great sandwich.
- Peppers – Jalapeños bring a nice kick to the brine and also to the sandwich after pickling.
- The Brine – White vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, and black peppercorns create the perfect brine base that pickles the onions and peppers overnight.
Cilantro Ranch Dressing
- Creamy Base – Mayonaisse, sour cream, and then some tangy buttermilk form the creamy base of this homeade spread.
- Seasonings – Chopped dill, cilantro, and then a little kosher salt are the simple seasonings that make this creamy spread pop with flavor.
Steak Sandwich Building Blocks
- Toasted Sandwich Bread: The foundation of the sandwich, toasted bread slices provide a crispy exterior that complements the succulent picanha and creamy cilantro ranch.
- Cheddar Cheese: Melted cheddar cheese adds a gooey, savory element, enhancing the overall richness of the sandwich.
- Crumbled Potato Chips: Crumbled potato chips deliver a satisfying crunch, elevating the sandwich with a delightful texture contrast.
How to Make a Picanha Steak Sandwich
Pickled Onions & Hot peppers:
First, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Into the hot skillet, then add the vinegar, water, white sugar, and kosher salt. Let the mixture simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Next, remove the brine from the heat. In a large Mason jar or heat-proof airtight container, add the hot brine to the sliced red onions, jalapeños, and peppercorns.
Allow the magic to happen at room temperature for at least an hour. For the full flavor explosion, consider letting them mingle overnight. Once ready, refrigerate any leftovers after opening.
What’s the secret to the best pickled red onions?
Beyond the balance of acidity, sweetness, and salty brine, thinly slicing the red onions is essential, so you may want to invest in a high-quality mandolin to accomplish this important task.
To make life as easy as possible, consider making the cilantro ranch dressing the night before you smoke the meat. The next day all the flavors will be well infused into the cool and creamy mixture, so it’ll be perfect for our picanha steak sandwich!
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and blend until creamy.
Preheat your grill to 250° degrees F for some indirect heat. Generously slather the steak with oil and coat it with my Mesquite Peppercorn Lager Rub or your preferred steak seasoning.
Once the grill is at the right temperature, then place the seasoned steak over the grates. Let it cook for about 30-45 minutes per side or until the internal temperature of the meat hits 120° degrees F.
After the flavorful picanha steak is done, go ahead and pull it off the grill grates and then let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
After letting the picanha rest for 15 minutes, we want to add it back to the grill for its final sear. To do this, add more wood or charcoal to the fire because we want it to be nice and hot. Then, add the picanha back to the grill directly over the coals.
Due to the piranhas fat cap, you’ll likely have some flare ups, so be prepared. Only allow the picanha to stay over the coals, flipping as needed to get a good crust on all sides. Then remove it from the grill. Remember, the purpose of this is only to give the picanha a crust, not to continue cooking it.
Picanha Steak Sandwich Assembly
Now, let’s assemble! After preparing thin steak slices by cutting the picanha against the grain on a cutting board, toast your bread, melt some cheddar cheese on it, and then start layering. Start with the bread, cilantro ranch, sliced steak, pickled veggies, and top with crushed potato chips, because who doesn’t love salty potatoes?
If you’re feeling extra saucy, drizzle over some more ranch dressing.
Slice, serve, and brace yourself for a sandwich experience that transcends the ordinary – this is flavor innovation at its finest!
What to Serve with Picanha Steak?
Pair this indulgent sandwich with your favorite sides. I’m thinking sweet potato fries or a simple garden salad would be awesome choices.
Leftovers & Reheating
If you have any leftover steak, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and store it in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
To reheat, throw the aluminum foil packet on a warm grill and let it heat through for about 10-15 minutes.
FAQs for Picanha Steak Sandwich:
You read my mind! It’s another great way to enjoy these steak sandwiches.
Absolutely! Caramelized onions don’t provide the tangy contrast of pickled onions but they add a French Onion soup vibe and turn this into an even more comforting sandwich.
Ciabatta bread, French baguette, and sourdough bread are all great options.
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Picanha Steak Sandwich
- 1-2 Whole Picanhas with fat cap
- 1 cup Mesquite Peppercorn Lager Rub
- Neutral Oil as needed
Pickled Spicy Veggies:
- 2 medium Red Onions sliced
- 1 large Jalapeño sliced
- 2 cups White Vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- ½ cup White Sugar
- ½ cup Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Whole Peppercorns
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- ⅔ cup Sour Cream
- ½ cup Buttermilk
- 1 tbsp Chopped Dill
- 1 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Sandwich Bread toasted
- Cheddar Cheese
- Potato Chips crumbled
Pickled Spicy Veggies:
- Heat up a skillet to medium high heat. Add your white vinegar, water, white sugar and kosher salt to the skillet. Let simmer until the salt and sugar has dissolved. Pull off once done.
- Add your sliced red onions, jalapenos and the peppercorns to a food safe bowl or mason jar. Pour the hot vinegar solution over the top of the veggies and cover. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour but ideally overnight.
- Use once ready and refrigerate after opening.
- Ideally, the night before, mix all the ingredients for the cilantro ranch in a bowl. Place covered in the fridge until it's ready to serve.
Steak & Sandwich:
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F for indirect cooking.
- Slather your steak with oil as the binder and generously season with my Mesquite Peppercorn Lager Rub or your favorite steak seasoning.
- Add your steak to the smoker to cook for about 30-45 minutes per side or until 120F internal. Once the steak is done, pull it off to rest for 15 minutes.
- Toast your sandwich bread and melt sliced cheddar cheese to them. Slice your picanha thinly and against the grain, then start building the sandwich.
- Build with the bread, cilantro ranch, sliced steak, pickled veggies and crushed potato chips. Add more ranch if you desire, slice, serve and enjoy!