Notes: the picanha steak,
at around 1 kg, is easily enough for 4 people as the rub is
extremely strong; you will need little of it per person and lots
of accompaniments to eat with it. The meat is slow cooked so leave
yourself several hours for this; for instance, if you start
fiddling with the barbecue at 15:00 you might be ready to eat by
19:00, though of course there's lots of waiting time in
that. Cooking on a barbecue and, probably, getting the dish
right in general, requires a Meater
For the rub:
200 gm Maldon sea salt
70 gm light brown sugar
25 gm English mustard powder
25 gm smoked paprika, ground
25 gm freshly ground black pepper (if you don't have a
spice grinder just use pre-ground)
For the steak:
A picanha cut of steak (a special order from your butcher)
Get your barbecue up to temperature: you want good grey ash
for this, no flames, so leave yourself several an hour for
Mix the rub ingredients together; this will make more than
you need so store the remainder for later in a resealable
Trim away any layer of skin that has been left on the
Coat the steak in the rub and press it in as hard as you
can, then turn the steak over and repeat.
Place a couple of bricks on the barbecue (to prevent
radiant heat getting directly at the steak), put some foil
over the top of the bricks and, if you can, place the grill
from a grill pan on top of that.
Insert your steak thermometer into the steak and place the
steak on top of the above assembly.
Cook for ~ 1.5 hours or for however long your steak
thermometer recommends for your style of steak; I went for 57
C, a kind of conservative medium rare, but would recommend 55
C for a more conventional medium rare.
Put the steak to one side (removing the steak thermometer),
remove the bricks etc. and add more coals to the barbecue; now
you want as much heat as you can get.
Prepare the rest of the meal.
15 minutes before you want to serve the meal, assuming your
barbecue is sizzling hot, place your steak directly on the
grill for no more than 2 minutes per side; remember, the meat
is already cooked, you're just searing the outside.
Leave to rest until serving time; serve in slices.