Pincanha: The Underrated Beef Cut You Should Never Skip At A Churrasco

While plant-based foods seem to be all the rage these days, meat is still a key aspect of most people's diets. According to a poll conducted by Statista investigating the eating habits of people within 39 countries, 86% of those surveyed claimed to regularly eat meat. It's easy to see why people aren't quite willing to let go of their love of meat, even when faced with concerns about its environmental impact, ethical issues involving factory farms, and potential health effects. Well-prepared meat is extremely tasty, so much so that some restaurants base their entire menu around it.

This is certainly the case at Brazilian steakhouses, also known as churrascarias. These establishments typically offer all the meat a diner can eat for a fixed price. Different cuts of meat are proffered to guests tableside, where the server will theatrically shave off slices to serve to the table. Diners indicate their readiness for more food by displaying a green card, while a red card indicates that you've had your fill. Churrascarias even provide the guests with the opportunity to sample cuts of meat they've never experienced before.

The hidden, flavorful secret of Brazilian steakhouses

One of the best things about visiting a churrascaria is the massive selection of meat guests are privy to. However, it can make choosing which cuts to sample a little overwhelming, especially when you're enjoying other tasty menu items like salads, bread, and feijoada, which is a delicious beef and pork-infused black bean stew. And while you'll definitely want to check out the tasty cuts of meat you're most familiar with, there is one less common cut that also comes highly recommended.

Pincanha is a premium cut of beef that is sourced from the top part of the rump of a cow. Accordingly, it's sometimes referred to as the rump cover or sirloin cap. This cut gets its incredible flavor from its fat cap, which imbues it with so much tender juiciness as the meat cooks. When served in a Brazilian steakhouse, pincanha is cooked churrasco-style, meaning up to four pieces of meat are pierced with a skewer and placed over an open flame. While the meat is cooking, the skewer is usually turned about three or four times to ensure each piece is cooked evenly. This same level of care and attention is also applied to the other cuts of meat you can enjoy at a local churrascaria.

Fat is where it's at when it comes to steak

According to many butchers, the best cuts of beef are those that are well-marbled, meaning that ample lines of fat run through the muscle tissue making up the steak. That's why the finest cuts are taken from certain parts of the cow, typically the back of the animal. Cuts of beef taken from the legs and shoulders are often tougher, as these muscles provide continuous support to the rest of the cow's body.

The fat content of a steak has a direct impact on its flavor profile, but it also ensures the meat is tender and juicy after cooking. To this end, ribeyes usually have the best marbling, which means they offer unbelievable flavor and texture. Sirloin is another excellent selection, albeit one with less marbling than ribeyes. However, keep in mind that a lower fat content can mean less flavor, which highlights the importance of proper seasoning. No matter which cut you choose, an expertly cooked steak is a real treat, whether you're dining out or enjoying a meal at home.