Picanha from Porter Road Butcher

Picanha (pronounced “pee-KAHN-ya), also known as top sirloin cap or coulotte, is a cut of beef that most Americans know little about. Those that do probably associate it with expensive Brazilian steakhouses (churrascarias) where it’s skewered in half-moon shapes, grilled to perfection, and carved to order at the table.

Skewered picanha with other meats
Skewered picanha (second from left)

A company named Porter Road Butcher gave me a 4.24 pound package of their dry-aged picanha to try, and it’s the basis of this article. You’ll find picanha at better supermarkets, butcher shops, or online meat retailers.

Picanha Defined

Picanha is a triangular roast with a lean side and a fat side covered with thick, white hard fat.

Picanha in packaging

Lean side of picanha

Fat side of picanha

Picanha has great beefy flavor and good moisture due to abundant intramuscular fat. It should not be confused with tri-tip. Both come from the sirloin primal, but picanha is cut from the top sirloin butt while the tri-tip is cut from the bottom sirloin butt. Continue reading Picanha from Porter Road Butcher