Help identify this mystery meat.
December 29, 2005 6:15 AM   Subscribe

[MeatFilter] What is the American equivalent of a cut of beef known as punta de anca in Spanish or picañha in Brasilian Portugese?

So, the new engineer in our office is from Colombia and rhapsodizes about this particular cut of beef. He says it's a triangular/pyrimidal shaped cut, with a thick layer of fat on one side. It's prepared by skewering, coating with salt and grilled over high heat. Any ideas? The closest I could find was some sort of rump roast.
posted by electroboy to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
This wikipedia entry on Picanha would seem to indicate that Picanha is not typically a normal cut used in the States.
posted by yeoz at 6:27 AM on December 29, 2005

It is "the coulotte or cap muscle from the top sirloin" [Source]. With that, I'm sure your grocer's butcher can get it for you.
posted by ewagoner at 6:30 AM on December 29, 2005

Tri-tip? That's what they use in the Spanish-influenced Santa Maria barbecue in central California.
posted by footnote at 6:31 AM on December 29, 2005

I was going to say trip-tip too. My Mexican father-in-law always makes it when we grill.
posted by terrapin at 7:32 AM on December 29, 2005

There are some places in US where you can taste the real picanha. One major Brazilian barbecue chain has branches in NY, LA and Dallas, at least. I believe Miami and Boston must have some Brazilian restaurants too (due to their large Brazilian community).

By the way, the Portuguese alphabet has no "ñ". The word is "picanha" ("nh" in Portuguese sounds almost like "ñ" in Spanish).
posted by nkyad at 8:56 AM on December 29, 2005

Best answer: It's not Tri-tip. As others have noted, the cut does not exist in the US because this part of the cow is cut up into multiple other cuts. That makes it unlikely to get it from most butchers (unless you wanted to buy a side of beef), but you can order it online. As nkyad notes, the best place to taste it would be at churrascaria, which are becoming pretty common in major US cities.
posted by donovan at 9:57 AM on December 29, 2005

FWIW: meat cuts vary from one Spanish-speaking country to another.
posted by signal at 10:38 AM on December 29, 2005

I don't know, donovan -- this picture of tri-tip looks just like the image of picanha you linked to.
posted by footnote at 10:54 AM on December 29, 2005

And if you compare this cow to this vaca, it seems like tri-tip and punta de anca could from about the same the same place.
posted by footnote at 11:08 AM on December 29, 2005

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