The Brazilian rodizio-style BBQ is known for the superior cuts of steak not found in any other fine restaurants or steakhouses. The cuts of beef in rodizio restaurants have a rich balance of tenderness and natural tasty flavor created by the high quality of meat, the way it was cut, and the method of cooking. In Brazil, beef is cut in a different way, becoming an art that the Gauchos (Brazilian Cowboys) and butchers mastered, improving the texture and tenderness of the meat. In Brazilian rodizio steakhouses, the cuts of meat are lightly seasoned and slowly fire-roasted in a natural charcoal rotisserie style grill that seals the juiciness in to keep the meat tender and very flavorful. This is how the Picanha was born, which is an enhanced cut of Top Sirloin and the signature steak in Brazilian steakhouses.
Here are a list of the most popular cuts of beef served in Brazilian rodizio steakhouses (Numbered accordingly to the cow chart):
1 – Picanha – A prime cut of “Top Sirloin” that is the signature steak of any Brazilian rodizio restaurant. It is very popular in the churrascarias of Brazil, and high in demand in rodizio restaurants located in the United States. The picanha is a very tender, juicy, and flavorful cut of meat that is carefully fire roasted, seasoned, and carved onto your plate from a skewer by a professional gaucho chef. A Brazilian rodizio dinner without Picanha isn’t much of a Brazilian dinner at all.
2 – Alcatra -A special cut of “Top Sirloin” served in Brazilian steakhouses. Alcatra is a naturally soft tender cut of meat that picks up an amazing flavor when cooked, especially on a rodizio style BBQ rotisserie grill. Like Picanha, Alcatra is the another favorite cut of meat in Brazilian rodizio restaurants.
3 – Maminha -A cut of beef called the “Bottom Round” of the cow. It is known for its leanness and tenderness with a likeness to the Filet Mignon. The Maminha is perfect for churrasco (Brazilian BBQ). Ask your local Brazilian rodizio restaurant if they offer this special cut of meat.
4 – Contrafilé – A longer cut of beef that is surrounded by fat which gives it a unique flavor and texture, more fat means more flavor when grilled. Since it tends to harden if overcooked, rodizio restaurants offers it anywhere less than medium well to ensure enjoyment of it’s full qualities.
5 – Filet Mignon – In rodizio-style restaurants, Filet Mignon is expertly prepared from the best part of the beef tenderloin. It’s quality is due to the tenderness of the meant making it possibly the softest cut of the cow. Brazilian steakhouses even offer the Filet Mignon wrapped inside delicious bacon upon request. Once seasoned and on a skewer, the Filet Mignon is then grilled to a juicy, tender perfection.
7 – Fraldinha -A distinctive and flavorful cut of the “Bottom Sirloin” from Brazil. Fraldinha has a unique robust flavor and intense juiciness that steak enthusiasts love. Brazilian steakhouse restaurants hand select and grill each piece of Fraldinha before carving them table-side for their guests. Keep an eye out for the Fraldinha, it’s a cut of beef you sure don’t want to miss out on.
9 – Rib’s Filet – Slowly roasted in an open natural flame rotisserie grill. This meat falls off the bone and is seasoned to perfection.
12 – Cupim – A very flavorful and savory cut of meat. Cupim has more fat than other cuts of meat and extremely tender, it literally melts in your mouth when barbecued. Unfortunately, Cupim is an extremely rare cut of meat in the United States because it is only found in a certain species of cattle in Argentina and Southern Brazil.
Using rodizio directory, all of these cuts of meat will become easy to find and enjoy!