Large cuts of beef, like a Picanha Roast can be intimidating, but learning to prep and cook it is actually quite easy!
The picanha roast, or top sirloin cap, is a juicy and flavorful cut that goes by many names but cooks beautifully in the oven, on the grill, or even sous vide in a pot on the stove. For this recipe we used the oven roasting method. Heavy marbling gives this top sirloin cap a buttery taste that works as a steak, BBQ, steak tips, or sliced thin for fajitas or sandwiches.
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What is a Picanha Roast?
- Depending on your location, picanha steak has many names. In Brazil, it’s called picanha after the long poles used to herd cattle. In the US, it’s known as a sirloin cap, culotte steak, or rump cap or cover, depending on the region.
- It is a large, boneless, triangular portion of beef with the smaller end called the “tri-tip.” When asking the butcher for a picanha style rump roast, be sure to buy one with the fat cap still attached so the meat gets basted as it cooks.
- Beef provides a boost of protein nutrition and even the fat is “the good kind.”
Ingredients and Variations
BEEF: Whole sirloin cap roasts typically weigh about 5 pounds, be sure to get one with the fat cap attached. Make this recipe in the oven, and for best results, start the process the day before.
RUB: Montreal steak seasoning is easily purchased at the local supermarket, or try homemade seasonings like our Italian Dressing Mix. It will give your round rump roast a signature flair.
How to Cut into Steaks
- Cut steaks against the grain making sure each piece has some of the fat cap. The fat will render over the meat as it cooks. For cutting, start from the middle pressing the two sides together. Cutting the steaks 2 to 3 inches thick and from the center allows for evenly-sized steaks.
- Place steaks on a rack and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days, uncovered.
- Steaks can be cooked on the barbecue. Using a digital thermometer, take the temperature in the middle of each piece to ensure doneness.
- After cooking let the meat rest for 30 minutes. This makes for a much juicier steak and is critical to the process.
- The steak can also be wrapped after cooking. This will also help to seal in the juices.
How to Cook Top Sirloin Cap
A few steps to a juicy tender roast:
- Cut (or have the butcher cut) steaks into desired sizes and set aside to cook separately from the roast. Or, bake the entire top sirloin cap roast for a larger roast.
- Rub all sides of each roast piece generously with seasonings.
- Place roast on a rack and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days, uncovered.
- Place roast halves together and place with the fat side up in baking dish. Add water or broth (as per recipe below).
- Bake until desired temperature and then broil.
- Let meat rest before serving.
Tips for Top Sirloin Cap
- Cut pieces evenly so they cook evenly. Do not overcook top sirloin cap. It will continue to cook as it rests. Allowing the roast to rest for at least 30 minutes redistributes the juices inside the meat and keeps the meat from drying out once it’s sliced.
- We have tried the wrapping method (wrapping and baking the roast), which was good, but roasting per the recipe was the most delicious.
- Bake until a digital meat thermometer reads 125°F in the thickest part. Move the meat to the top shelf and broil until the internal temperature reads 130°F.
What to Serve with Picanha Roast
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes – are a creamy side dish.
- Glazed Sweet Potatoes – so sweet and delicious!
- Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich – is great for leftovers.
- Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich – another great option for leftover steak.
- Lemon Vinaigrette Potato Salad – a light and fresh side dish!
- 5 pound top sirloin cap roast
- 1½ cups water
- 2-3 Tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning or other favorite seasoning
- Rinse meat and dry with paper towel.
- Cut steaks from the middle of the roast (2-4 steaks, ¾ to 1 inch each) if desired and set aside to cook separately. Rub all sides of the roast(s) liberally with seasoning.
- Place on a rack on a baking tray and refrigerate overnight, up to 3 days, uncovered.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Put the two cut sides together and place roast fat side up on a rack in a small baking dish. Add about 1 ½ cups water to the bottom of the dish.
- Bake about 60 minutes or until a digital thermometer shows the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat at 125°F. Turn oven to broil, and broil until internal temperature reaches 130°F, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and rest for 30 minutes to allow juices to redistribute before slicing.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
Recipe inspired by Easy and Delish.