When I began at Bluescreek, the picanha (pee-con-ya) was something very few people knew anything about. Indeed, I had never heard of the delectable morsel until a Brazilian customer asked about it. He attempted to explain it as best he could, but I had no idea what he was talking about, but I told him I would research it and call him back once I figured it out. I went home that night, switched on my laptop and got to work. About eight seconds after opening my laptop, I had found what I was looking for. Google really is an amazing thing.
Picanha is a poplular cut in South America, particularly in Brazilian-style steak houses called churrascarias. The name is derived from the Spanish/Portuguese word churrasco, a style of barbecuing. In these churrascarias, the meat is cooked over an open fire on long, sword-like skewers. These skewers are then brought out to the customer where a passadore carves off pieces of exquisitely flavored meats; anything from the picanha to duck to poultry and pork.
The picanha is the cap from the top sirloin roast. This is, in fact, what will become the “regal” rump, or first cut rump. It is very tender, and due to the fat cap left on the small roast, extraordinarily juicy. To cook at home, grilling is best, indirect heat to a medium rare, or your liking. Blue rare for me, thanks. But do get the fat soft. None of that should go to waste.