Tomahawk and Picanha

July  8, 2016
0 Ratings
Photo by Your Guardian Chef
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

When we bought our house in the French Riviera, we didn’t realize we had a hidden gem in our patio: a solid barbecue with a built-in chimney, large metal doors and height adjuster for the grill over the fire (allowing us to regulate the intensity of the heat).
We use it regularly, with great results, continually experiment new food: beef, lamb, fish, paella, and for special occasions?

Tomahawk and Picanha

Tomahawk is the rib at the end of the rib cage. It is very tender, with plenty of fat that gives the meat a lot of flavours when barbecued. The latest trend is to cut the slices leaving the whole rib bone clean of any fat. Here in Europe, this cut is called Tomahawk, named after its shape resembling the Indian Tomahawk. In the USA it is called Boned in Rib Chop or Cowboy Steak.

Rump cover or Rumpsteak called Picanha in Portuguese, it is one of the prime cuts in the Brazilian Churrasco. It is a very tender cut of beef, located at the top of the leg just before the tail. In some breeds, this cut is covered by a large layer of fat (in the picture the Picanha from Aberdeen Angus breed). The fat melts while cooking, giving a fantastic flavour to the meat.
This is not a recipe, it is all about the cuts of beef, they are the guests of honour !!! —Your Guardian Chef

What You'll Need
  • Tomahawk
  • Picanha
  • coarse sea salt
  • olive oil
  • herbs Provencal
  • pepper
  • good charcoal
  • Few aromatic cuttings from the garden such as rosemary, laurel, oranges or lemon branches
  1. Steep the aromatic cuttings in water for 30 minutes and drain them well. Add to the charcoal, they add a subtle smoky flavour to the meat.
  2. Prepare the barbecue using good quality charcoal
  3. While the fire builds up, marinate the meat with coarse salt, olive oil, herbs Provencal and pepper. The marinate is very simple as it enhances the flavour of the beef, without overpowering it. Massage the meat for about 30 seconds to make sure it absorbs the seasoning.
  4. Cook the meat on the barbeque, best medium rare
  5. Before serving, the meat should be allowed to rest for a few minutes, preferably covered with aluminium foil to retain the heat.
  6. Place the meat on a wooden board and cut into slices, ensuring the juices are poured back over the meat.
  7. To complete the party serve the beef on a Gaucho Asado Picnic kit as they do in Argentina!

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1 Review

pierino July 10, 2016
You may have answered a question I've trying to puzzle out myself. I cook what here is called tri tip (I just posted my own recipe). Tomahawks sounds very much like it. Tri tip is a triangular shaped muscle from the sirloin area. Here we roast it whole but my impression has been in visiting macellerie in Italy that there it is cut across the grain and sold in cutlet form. I could be wrong but I've never seen a whole tri tip which I recognize immediately. What do you think?