Picanha Steak Pao de Queijo

If you’re looking to shake up your meals with new cultural cuisines and exciting flavours, you’re in for a treat. Lee from Smoke and Sear has created an amazing Brazilian-inspired platter featuring a classic picanha steak. It’s a great dish the whole family can pick at and enjoy. See how to make it yourself below…  

Cooking Method

  1. Trim the picanha, removing excess fat and silverskin. Place the meat fat side down and slice into individual steaks, about 2.5-3cm in thickness. 
  2. Season the steak generously with sea salt on all sides. Put in the fridge and leave uncovered overnight. Before grilling, leave the steaks to come up to room temperature for about an hour.  
  3. Skewer the steaks on the rotisserie rod and cook over the live fire of your BBQ, turning continuously. Picanha is typically enjoyed medium rare (57C) but aim for 63C if you prefer it to be medium. 
  4. For the cheese bread, heat and combine milk, butter, and salt in a saucepan. Stir occasionally until the milk is hot and butter melted. Add into your mixer and slowly pour in the flour, mixing continuously until thoroughly combined. 
  5. Once cooled slightly, add the eggs and cheese, and mix until smooth. Pre-heat your oven to 190C and grease a muffin tin. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 15-20 minutes. 
  6. For the spiced sweet potato wedges toss the wedges in olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt. Air fry the wedges (this recipe uses the Ninja Woodfire outdoor grill with air fry option) and cook for about 20-25 mins or until golden and crispy, shaking halfway through to ensure even cooking.  
  7. For the salsa, combine the mangoes, pomegranate seeds, chopped onion, coriander, lime juice, and chilli (if using) in a mixing bowl. Season with sea salt and mix well, leaving to stand for 10 mins after.  
  8. Place the picanha in the centre of a wooden board or platter, fanning out the slices. Scatter the Pao de Queijo around the meat. Arrange the wedges in a crescent shape on the side of the board. Serve the salsa in a small bowl on the board. Serve and enjoy.  

The Ingredients

For the Pao de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) 

  • 480g tapioca flour 
  • 240ml milk 
  • 115g butter 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 170g grated parmesan cheese 
  • 2 beaten eggs 

For the sweet potato wedges 

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes cut into wedges 
  • 30ml olive oil 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • Salt, to taste 

For the carnival confetti salsa 

  • 2 ripe mangoes, diced 
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate 
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped 
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (optional) 
  • Sea salt, to taste 

What to serve with Picanha Pao de Queijo

This platter has a nice range of components to it already, but it can be paired with a nice refreshing Brazilian beer or caipirinha cocktail. Also, as a non-alcoholic option a tropical punch or fresh limeade would work beautifully with this dish.  

Frequently Asked Questions

The upper muscle of the cow is known as the picanha but in UK this cut of meat is also known as the rump cap.  

Due to the nice outer fat cap on the meat, picanha steaks are very tender and full of juicy flavour and goodness. Ribeyes can also be very tender, but they typically have more marbling than picanha 

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