Brazilian Barbecue Series – Barbecued Rump Cap Roll – ‘X-Picanha’

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Barbecued Rump Cap Roll – ‘X-Picanha’

I am having lots of fun with this barbecue series, it’s been a joy to rediscover some good old Brazilian recipes. Like in many other countries around the world barbecue is quite an institution in Brazil. For a starter many houses have a barbecue room called ‘churrasqueira’, which can be indoors or outdoors. The most complete of the barbecue rooms have tables and chairs, couches, a full kitchen with fridge, freezer and stove and of course the barbecue equipment. By the way this is how it looks like (image source:


The place is also equipped with special cutlery, crockery, glasses, wooden boards, metal skewers, a caipirinha cocktail kit, music stereo system and sometimes even a TV to watch that special soccer match! Even some tiny apartments or studios may have a compact barbecue like the one in the picture installed in a small balcony!

Everyone I know in Brazil is crazy about a barbecue, not only for the eating side but the social side too. People get together on the weekend to catch up with family and friends in a very relaxed mood to listen or play music and spend almost the whole day snacking on barbecued meats and sides. The barbecue starts early, by 9AM with the preparation of the charcoal by the churrasqueiro (person responsible for the barbecue). Guests start to arrive before midday to have the starters: caipirinhassausages with cassava flour and potato salad with rolls. Then meats are served, with beef cuts being the preferred ones. The table is filled with colourful salads, farofas and rolls. The common desserts are barbecued pineapple with ice-cream, fruit salad with cream, passionfruit or chocolate mousses and popsicles. If you think a Brazilian barbecue will end with a dessert you are wrong. Sometimes the party goes on and by dusk left over barbecued beef may be turned into arroz de carreteiro a Brazilian-style risotto which will be served for dinner. More food, more drinks and music!

Speaking of music, following my barbecue series tradition here are some more  to enjoy with your x-picanha. The queen of samba, Elza Soares singing a tune by Sergio Mendes and a singer, who in my humble opinion, has the one of the most beautiful voices in the world: Ed Motta. The music he does is pretty cool too.

Mas que nada – Elza Soares

Baixo Rio – Ed Motta

The barbecued rump cap (top tenderloin) roll is a very popular street food in Brazil. It is sold in street markets and fast-food shops. The roll is often comprised of sliced grilled rump cap served in a hamburger-style roll with tomato, lettuce, slices of mozzarella cheese and mayonnaise. Taking opportunity that I showed how to prepare the barbecued rump cap, I now present you THE roll! I don’t change the original recipe too much. After barbecuing the whole rump cap, I finely slice it and serve with lettuce (or spinach leaves), sliced tomatoes, barbecued onion and home-made mayonnaise. The sweetness of barbecued onions give a very special touch to this dish:

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One little note: I found out that a blogger is plagiarising part of my texts and insights about Brazilian food and ingredients in a very sneaky way. I would like to remind that all content of this website, including photos (except where mentioned)  and texts are all under my copyright. If you would like to use anything from my website, please ask my permission in writing. Thanks for your cooperation! Obrigada.



2 large onions, whole

Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

1 whole rump cap, 1cm fat intact (about 1-1.1kg each)*

Rock salt

3 large tomatoes

6 large lettuce leaves or some spinach leaves

6 white-shell rolls (or 2 large baguettes)

Home-made or good-quality store-bought mayonnaise, to serve


1. For the onions, place them in a large piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil and close the foil. Barbecue for about 45 minutes or until soft. Peel and slice roughly. Reserve.

2. For the Rump Cap, pre-heat your charcoal barbecue. Score the fat in angles taking care not to cut through the meat. Season the beef with rock salt on both sides, put them onto a plate and leave them to rest for 5 minutes so the salt is absorbed. Remove excess salt and barbecue the cuts fat side up for approximately 30 minutes (time varies depending on your barbecue) or until fat swells and changes colour slightly. Turn fat down and barbecue for a further 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Remove foil, trim the fat. Using a very sharp knife slice very finely. Cover again with foil until ready to use.

3. Slice the rolls (or baguettes) open and place in the barbecue 3-4 minutes to warm just before assembling. Fill rolls with salad, onion, meat and serve with mayonnaise.

*For more information on rump cap cut, click here

Serves: 6



Receita em Português



2 cebolas grandes inteiras

Azeite de oliva extra-virgem

1 peça de picanha (cerca 1-1.1kg cada )

Sal grosso

3 tomates grandes

6 grandes folhas de alface ou  folhas de espinafre

6 pães franceses (ou 2 baguettes grandes)

Maionese caseira ou comprada de boa qualidade, para servir

 Modo de Preparo 

1. Para a cebola , coloque-as em papel alumínio, regue com azeite e feche o papel. Asse na churrasqueira por aproximadamente 45 minutos ou até ficar macia. Descasque e corte grosseiramente. Reserve.

2. Para a picanha , pré- aqueça a sua churrasqueira. Faça cortes diagonais sobre a gordura tomando cuidado para não cortar a carne. Tempere a carne com sal grosso em ambos os lados , coloque em um prato e deixe descansar por 5 minutos para que o sal seja absorvido. Retire o excesso de sal e coloque para assar na churrasqueira em uma altura de 40cm da brasa com a gordura para cima por 40-45 minutos (churrasqueira brasileira) ou até que a gordura inche e mude de cor ligeiramente. Vire a carne com a gordura para baixo e asse por mais 15 minutos. Transfira para um prato, cubra com papel alumínio (sem apertar) e deixe descansar por 15 minutos. Retire o papel alumínio, cortar e descarte a gordura. Usando uma faca muito afiada corte fatias finas da picanha. Cubra novamente com papel alumínio até a hora de montar os sanduíches.

3. Abra os pães (ou baguettes) coloque no churrasco 3-4 minutos para aquecer um pouco antes de montar os sanduíches. Monte os sanduíches com salada , cebolas, carne e sirva com maionese.

Serve: 6

  • Ritu ahuja have a beautiful blog Georgina with wonderful recipes. I have become fond of Brazilian recipes after checking out the recipes you post. I have bookmarked your blog and would be visiting often. I love all the recipes on your blog specially your barbecue series. Amazingly delicious recipes. 🙂

  • GeorginaRibas

    Thanks so much Ritu for the kind words, it’s great to hear you like the recipes and will be visiting often. Talk soon

  • Olivia Ribas

    I am so glad you found me, Georgina! It is so fun we have the same last name? Where are you from in Brazil? I am from Salvador-Ba. I looooove your blog!!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Hi Olivia I replied above!

  • GeorginaRibas

    Hi Olivia, it’s so nice to hear from you, glad you stopped by. What a small world, we have the same last name but are not relatives. I am from Curitiba-PR, there are lots of Ribas in PR. I love your blog too will be checking it often. Stay in touch. xx

  • anupama (MGGK)

    Hello Georgina, You have a wonderful blog, with YUMMY recipes, and gorgeous clicks. Loved it! 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Hello Anupama, that’s so kind, happy to hear you like it.

  • Manali @ CookWithManali

    Hello Georgina! It’s so nice to stumble upon your blog! Gorgeous recipes and pictures! 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks for the visit and the kind words Manali, please keep coming back!