Wagyu Picanha – 4 Reasons why it Should be on your Bucket List
Picanha de Wagyu grelhada e Aligot (Purê de queijos minas padão e Gruyere)
by Creative roger @ flickr
4 Things to Know about Wagyu Picanha
Have you heard of the Picanha cut? It’s the juiciest beef cut you’ll ever taste. A native of the Brazilian Churrascarias (steakhouses), the Picanha meat is a must-try for any meat junkie.
It is located on the rump of the beef and cut in a triangular shape.
The Picanha (pronounced pee-KAHN-ya) is mostly known for its thick layer of fat, giving the whole cut of beef a marbling unseen in any other part of the carcass.
Butchers in the United States usually cut off the fat layer and separate the whole rump of the animal into rump steaks.
However, real connoisseurs cherish this layer because it is the most important part of the Picanha.
It serves as a cap to the Picanha meat and protects it from the heat when grilling, and gives it the well-sought beefy flavor.
This quick introduction is necessary to pave the way to one of the most luxurious meat products ever sold in the world: The Wagyu Picanha.
This article lists five reasons why you must try this premium beef cut.
1. A Brazilian cut in Japanese cattle.
Picanha, as stated above, is a part of the beef’s rump. It was introduced by Brazilian steakhouses and gained a worldwide reputation for its excellent marbling properties and strong beefy flavor.
Traditional gaucho-style grilling uses this triangular part with its cap of fat to give their Picanha steaks a buttery texture and aroma, rarely tasted in other beef cuts.
Different strains of beef produce various kinds of Picanha with varying scores of marbling. And like every product, higher quality is bought at a higher price.
This is why Wagyu Picanha is the most expensive Picanha cut you’ll probably ever buy.
Wagyu is a breed of beef imported from Japan in the 1970s. The word Wagyu translates into “Japanese cattle.”
Currently, four types of beef are designated as “Wagyu”: The Japanese Black (known as Kobe), the Japanese Red (known as Akaushi), Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled beef.
The Wagyu beef is internationally-acclaimed for its lean texture and delicious flavor.
Picanha Wagyu is cut from the lower part of this premium beef’s tenderloin.
2. Picanha Wagyu is the Most Expensive Picanha in the World.
Authentic Wagyu Picanha is Expensive, but the taste is impossible to find elsewhere.
Famous Youtuber Gustavo Tosta introduces on his 2 million subscribers channel, Guga Foods, the Picanha Wagyu. This expensive cut, as he shows, comes with a certificate of authenticity since it was not bought in the U.S. but came straight from the Wagyu beef’s home country: Japan.
The whole experience is documented by the meat foodie and shows the Picanha Wagyu steak’s fancy side.
In the U.S, the normal price for a 3lbs piece of Picanha meat is 50$ and goes up to 100$ for a 5lbs cut. However, this price increases for a Wagyu Picanha steak to more than 500$ for a 3lbs piece. This goes to show how expensive the rump cap of Wagyu beef is. Given the quality of the animal’s meat, it is understandable why it is so costly.
Indeed, when you buy this meat, you will not be purchasing a usual piece of meat from a normal beef strain. Instead, you will be paying for an imported Japanese product with an expensive diet built on eating quality roughage and are not just fattened by a grains diet.
In addition to that, Wagyu beef spends an important part of their lives grazing in the fields of the Japanese meadows.
Since roughage and pasturage have large amounts of fibers and essential nutrients such as minerals and vitamins, the meat produced from the Wagyu beef is filled with quality intramuscular fat embedded in the muscles. This quality fat has a low melting point creating a luxurious marbling that melts to the touch.
3. The Art of Cooking Wagyu Picanha.
Wagyu Picanha meat is not your usual cut of beef. Experts advise to only season it lightly with salt and pepper and discard marinades and rubs to preserve the Picanha Wagyu steak’s taste.
Given that Japanese restaurants serve this meat as sashimi to preserve its original taste, seasoning it would be unfair, as it’ll cover up the inherent flavors of this grass-fed beef.
The cooking method for Wagyu Picanha steaks depends on your preferences. You can roast, pan-fry and braise this meat, and it’ll be the most delectable taste experience you’ll ever live. However, if you want to experience this Japanese product’s real taste, the best way to do it is on open flames.
Because of its buttery texture, the Wagyu Picanha steak will melt instantly, and you will have a seared surface on the outside and a juicy texture on the inside.
Here are the most used cooking methods for Wagyu Picanha meat.
1. The roasting method
- Carve the cap of the piece of meat with a knife.
- Sprinkle a lot of salt on the openings made on the fat cap.
- Put on a grill at a temperature of 284 F (140 C)
- Cut the roasted meat with the grain.
2. The Sous-Vide method
- Salt the thinly-sliced steaks.
- Put the steaks in a well-sealed plastic pouch and cook in 135F water for 2 hours.
- Pat it dry after the Wagyu Picanha meat is cooked.
- With a smoking gun, grill your steaks to medium-rare.
Since the meat is high in intramuscular fat, it flares up easily when grilled. The cooking should be monitored as not to risk overcooking this luxurious meat.
4. Wagyu Picanha A5: The highest-ranked Picanha in the world.
Wagyu beef is rated in Japan from A to C ranks for “yield grade” and from 1 to 5 ranks for “meat quality grade”, and 15 ranks from the highest “A-5” to the lowest “C-1”.
These ratings have played a role in clarifying the difference in quality between foreign Wagyu and the authentic Wagyu from Japan.
When Wagyu Picanha meat has the mention A5, this means that you’ll be having the most delicate piece of meat an animal can produce.
Eating the A5 Wagyu Picanha represents a unique gastronomic experience.