Last week i told you about a cooking workshop I participated in and promised you an update on what I did with the beautiful piece of Scotch beef they sent home with me. So here we go.
Picanha, also known as rump cap, is a very popular cut in Brazil and Argentina where it is eaten quite pure, just add a little salt and roast it on a barbecue. I felt like doing something a little more out there and researched for days, finally deciding that a smoked picanha sounded pretty amazing. It probably would have been amazing with just salt and pepper but, to invoke the summer a bit I decided to throw the zest of two lemons and a couple tablespoons of thyme into a pestle and mortar along with the salt and pepper.
The result was a wonderfully fragrant rub that I left on for about 10 hours before firing up the coals for the smoker. Or rather, my dad did that part as it’s actually his smoker I ended up using. Once the coals were hot enough we added soaked Jack Daniels barrel smoking chips and placed in the beef (fat side up) inside the smoker, closed up the lid and resisted the temptation to open it up for about an hour and a half. The internal temperature was at a perfect 53°C so I removed it and gave it about 10 minutes of time to rest before cutting it into thing slices.
You should know that my family isn’t the most patient group of people but they agreed this was worth the wait. The meat was very tender and juicy but also very flavorful, very similar to a good roast beef. The lemon added a lovely freshness that went surprisingly well with the heavier flavor that comes from smoking.
Though unorthodox this turned out to be a great way to cook picanha. We all definitely ate too much meat last night but we did thoroughly enjoy it and, on top of the great food, it was a nice bonding experience with my dad and a relaxing evening in general. I’m declaring a win for slow food.