Friday, September 16, 2016

What’s on the MENU today: Picanha beef

You might have noticed this aged triangular roast in your supermarkets and wondered what it is. The name is Spanish and it is a cut of meat used in South America where it is regarded as one of their top cuts. It is actually the point of the rump and Lynne cooked it for the first time last weekend. We discovered not only how incredibly well flavoured and tender it is, and very easy to cook but it also turned out to be rather economical for a family of 2. It made us three very different dishes over three days. We have guests next week and are going to cook this on the braai
Cooking it is very simple. We had a roast of almost exactly a kilo. Traditionally all you do is cover it in flaked salt and leave it to sit for a couple of hours, brush off the salt and cook. We had some South American Gaucho spice so Lynne used that as well. You then heat up a ridged skillet and starting fat side down, sear the meat all over, including the one cut end. You leave it fat side up on the skillet and put into a hot oven at 170⁰C for about 35 to 40 minutes. We used a meat thermometer. When it gets to 50⁰C and no more, remove it from the oven and set aside to rest under foil for 10 minutes. Remember that while resting under foil the meat will continue to cook for a bit and it will also throw off some good meat juices to use as gravy. This produces perfectly pink steaks. There is contention about whether to cut across the grain or with it but whichever way you cut it, you will have beautiful tender flavourful steak. And for those of you Banting, the fat is absolutely delicious. (John - who abhors all fat, is shuddering). Cook for a slightly longer time if you do not like rare meat or less if you like yours blue. Searing the fat for longer produces a wonderful crisp outer skin. We cut off two 3cm steaks, leaving 2/3ds for the next day.
On Monday with a third, Lynne made an Asian beef salad, using lots of different vegetables, seeds and a good dressing (recipe next week) and on Tuesday she used the remaining third in Beef Stroganoff (recipe the following week). It is a great discovery.
We drank Phizante Kraal Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 with the steaks, Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir 2016 with the Beef Salad and De Krans Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay 2014 with the Stroganoff 
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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