First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

What’s cooking today: Twice-cooked picanha steaks

TGIFOOD

PRIME CUT

What’s cooking today: Twice-cooked picanha steaks

Tony Jackman’s picanha, twice-cooked on the braai, served on a cleaver. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Since discovering picanha steak three years ago I’ve become a fanboy of this super cut and the Brazilian way of cooking it.

You know you’ve done something right when the dinner table is agog with oohs, aahs and other exclamations of intense pleasure to the point of blushing. With all the humility I can muster, I think this might have been the best steak I’ve ever cooked; yes, even better than that reverse-seared steak you all loved so much. Seems I’m on a steak roll, so to speak. (This from a cook with a life-long history of messing up steak, so I’m enjoying this immensely.) Best I write it down for you then…

Picanha is the tail end of the rump (which of course is the tail end of the beast), but a rump steak can have as many as five separate muscles whereas picanha is just one. This makes for even cooking and tenderness.

A picanha is best cooked whole, first, then sliced into steaks and grilled again. For the first time, I marinated a picanha, for as long as 36 hours. Hooboy, this was so good.

One key factor is that you must score the fat cap. And whatever you do, don’t trim the fat, because picanha is all about that fat cap. Cooked to perfection, the crisp fat is the most delicious part of the cut.

For extra citrus tang I included yuzu paste in the marinade, which gives it a bit of bite as well, as does the mustard. Yuzu is made from the zest of yuzu fruit mixed with chilli and sea salt.

Ingredients

Picanha on the braai. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

8 fat garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp yuzu paste

1 Tbsp mustard powder

2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves

2 tsp black peppercorns

Method

Picanha sliced and ready for the second grilling. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Using a very sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern without piercing any of the meat.

Mix together the olive oil and juice of a lemon and stir in the yuzu paste, mustard powder, garlic, oregano and black peppercorns. It’s an unusual mix and there’s a mighty amount of garlic in there, but trust me, it is truly delicious.

Marinate the picanha in this mixture for 24 hours or more, mine went for 36 hours-plus.

First, braai the whole picanha over very hot coals, turning frequently, until you have a beautiful crunchy and golden brown exterior.

Remove the whole picanha to a board and cut it into thick steaks: reference the photo. 

Now put those steaks back on the braai and cook them quickly on both sides over a high heat. Ideally, leave them pink in the middle. About 2 minutes on each side ought to be enough, but that depends on the strength of the heat under it. More heat is best for this cut of meat.

Serve it up and sit back and be overwhelmed by what you’re eating and the expressions and sounds of enraptured carnivores at the table. Bibs may be useful. DM/TGIFood

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted