Coffee-Rubbed Picanha

Coffee-Rubbed Picanha

Few things can improve the flavour of a well-prepared steak, however, that doesn't mean we can't explore new ways of reinventing the dish. So, in the spirit of adventure, I present you with a dish that combines two of the best things in life; beef and coffee. Yes, I too was sceptical when first hearing about this unique flavour combination. However, immediately after trying it, I wished I had known about it sooner. The dish owns a very dynamic and novel flavour profile; you get sweet, salty and savoury all in one beautiful bite. The coffee-rub gives the picanha a gorgeous chargrilled texture while also helping to lock in all the delicious beefy-juices. 


Coffee-rubbed picanha 

  • Picanha
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder


Chimichurri sauce

  • Garlic, 3-4 cloves
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh coriander (no stems)
  • 1 cup parsley (no stems)
  • 2 tbsp oregano leaves (can sub with 2 tbsp of dried oregano)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste


Chilli oil

  • 1 cup oil (olive oil works fine, however, oil with a neutral flavour is preferable)
  • Fresh red chilli, to taste (chopped)
  • Salt, to taste 



  1. For the coffee rub: combine the spices in a bowl. Rub a thin layer on the picanha and let it sit uncovered in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour. While the picanha is resting, start making the chimichurri sauce and chilli oil.  
  2. For the chimichurri: chop the garlic, coriander, parsley and oregano. Then combine the herbs in a bowl with the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. For the chilli oil: in a saucepan or small pot, add the oil and bring to medium-low heat. Next, add the chopped chilli and salt; stir continuously for 5 minutes. Remove the oil from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Remove the picanha from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, over high heat, cook the picanha to 55 degrees C (for medium-rare) or until your preferred degree of doneness. Remove from the heat and allow it to rest. 
  5. Serve with a chimichurri sauce, a drizzle of chilli oil and a piece of flatbread.