Sunday Roast, Brazilian Style

One of us is a planner. This means that when cooking, this person wants to have a recipe in mind and then make sure to get all the ingredients. And then, when the cooking time actually starts, this person will want to stick to the recipe to the letter without any slight deviation, which will be cause for a panic attack.

And yet, rarely, this person is willing to make an exception, change their MO and wing it. This happened a couple of Saturdays ago. We had no recipe in mind and didn’t even know what we wanted to cook. The only thing we knew was that after eating chicken almost every day as part of our valiant attempts to be healthy, we wanted something different.

So it was with an open mind that we went to The Ginger Pig in Borough Market. We’ve grown to love that place and discovered a couple of other outposts, but Borough is the closest. After ordering a turkey for Thanksgiving, we stared at the display for a while, waiting for inspiration to strike.

And then it did. After getting some sausages for a quick dinner that evening, we spotted a substantial piece of picanha. Popular in Brazil, picanha is the muscle covering the sirloin/rump and often referred to as rump cap or top sirloin cap. We’ve had it before in wraps from Toucan at Maltby Street Market. We decided to give it a shot even though we’d never made it before and had no recipe to go on. It was a case of shop now, find a recipe later.

After some research the following morning, we decided to keep things simple and just roast the meat with a side of sauteed onions. We scored the fat side and covered it with a mixture of crushed garlic and red pepper, and let it sit for around 30 minutes.

IMG_7685Next we used our trusty cast iron pan, which had been warming up in the oven, to sear both sides of the meat.

Check out the smoke coming out of the pan.

Check out the smoke coming out of the pan.

And then, we just put it in a hot oven for about 45 minutes, until the meat was a fantastic medium rare and the garlic marinade had formed a crunchy and flavorful crust on top.

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Look at that crust!

In the meantime, we sauteed some onions and charred some cherry tomatoes. All that was left to do was to get our sharpest knife and cut thin slices. We skipped the bread for the sake of being healthy, but it was still a fantastic meal, especially with some hot sauce on the side.

IMG_4956

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