Taste of Brazil: A Guide to Brazilian Steak

Brazilian steak, or asado, is a culinary journey that takes your taste buds on a vibrant ride through the rich traditions of Brazilian barbecue. So, what makes a Brazilian cut steak, what goes perfectly with it, and how can you recreate this mouthwatering experience at home? Let’s dive into the world of Brazilian steak!

1. What is a Brazilian Cut Steak?

Brazilian steak is a celebration of meat, and the star of the show is often the picanha. Picanha is a prime cut of beef, also known as sirloin cap or rump cover, and it’s a Brazilian barbecue favorite. The secret to its succulence lies in the fat cap that adds flavor and juiciness during the grilling process.

2. What Makes a Brazilian Steak?

The magic happens in the seasoning. Brazilian steaks are typically seasoned with coarse salt to enhance the natural flavors of the meat. Some aficionados might add other spices like garlic, but simplicity is key to let the quality of the meat shine through.

3. What Goes with Brazilian Steak?

The beauty of Brazilian steak lies not only in the meat itself but also in the side dishes that complement its rich flavors. Traditional Brazilian accompaniments include:

  • Farofa: A toasted cassava or flour mixture that adds a delightful crunch.
  • Feijoada: A hearty black bean stew with pork that complements the smoky flavors of the barbecue.
  • Brazilian Rice: Often cooked with onions and garlic, it’s a simple yet perfect side dish.
  • Vinaigrette Sauce: A zesty blend of tomatoes, onions, vinegar, and herbs, adding a refreshing contrast.

4. Recipe for Brazilian Steak


  • 2 lbs picanha (sirloin cap)
  • Coarse salt
  • Optional: garlic cloves, minced


  1. Prepare the Picanha: If your picanha comes with the fat cap still attached, leave it on. Make incisions into the fat cap, about 1 inch apart, being careful not to cut into the meat. Rub the meat with coarse salt (and minced garlic if desired), ensuring it gets into the incisions.
  2. Let it Rest: Allow the seasoned picanha to rest for at least 30 minutes, allowing the salt to penetrate the meat.
  3. Grilling Time: Grill the picanha on high heat, fat side down first, until the fat is crispy. Then, flip it to cook the other sides. Aim for medium-rare for the perfect melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  4. Rest Again: Once cooked, let the picanha rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Plate your Brazilian steak slices, and serve with the traditional sides mentioned above.

Brazilian steak is not just a meal; it’s a cultural experience. From the juicy picanha to the vibrant sides, every element brings a taste of Brazil to your table. So, fire up the grill, embrace the Brazilian spirit, and savor the flavors of this South American delight.