Picanha with palm-heart salad

Brazilians believe beef should be cooked as simply as possible. So they use only salt – lots of it – to bring out the flavour (the more salt, the more heat penetrates the meat). Olive oil gets the fat to crisp up while leaving the inside succulent and tender.

Picanha is the tender top piece of the rump, called the cap, with a generous layer of fat – which is the secret to its tastiness. The salad is a nod to the giant palm hearts they roast over open flames, then scoop into a fresh salad.

Serves 6

You will need:

  • 4T olive oil
  • 1kg picanha beef
  • 2T flaked salt
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced

For the salad:

  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ⅓ cup coriander, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 can of palm hearts, sliced

For the dressing:

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T red-wine vinegar
  • 1T honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Season meat well.
2. Sear the meat, fat-side down, for 3–5 minutes. Turn and sear the other side.
3. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 200˚C for 20–25 minutes.
4. Gently fry the onion, in the same pan as the meat, until soft and browned (10–15 minutes).
5. Place salad ingredients in a bowl, mix the dressing, pour over the salad and toss well.
6. Remove meat from the oven, rest it for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with salad and fried onions.

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