Welcome to the flavors of Cape Verde! In this recipe, we'll be exploring the tantalizing tastes of Cape Verdean cuisine with a twist on a classic dish: Grilled Picanha. Picanha, a succulent cut of beef, is a beloved staple in Cape Verdean cooking, celebrated for its tender texture and rich flavor profile. Grilled to perfection, it's a dish that brings people together around the grill, savoring each bite with delight.

This recipe combines traditional Cape Verdean seasonings with the simplicity of grilling, resulting in a dish that's both easy to prepare and bursting with authentic island flavors. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or simply craving a taste of Cape Verde at home, this Grilled Picanha recipe is sure to transport your taste buds to the sun-kissed shores of this vibrant archipelago. So fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and let's embark on a culinary journey to Cape Verde!


  • 2 pounds (about 900g) of picanha beef steak
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of coarse salt
  • Olive oil for brushing


1- Prepare the picanha: Start by rinsing the picanha under cold water and patting it dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat from the surface of the steak, leaving a thin layer to enhance flavor during grilling.

2- Marinate the steak: In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic and coarse salt to create a simple seasoning mixture. Rub the garlic and salt mixture evenly over both sides of the picanha steak, ensuring that it is well coated. Let the steak marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

3- Preheat the grill: Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 375-400°F or 190-200°C). If using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are evenly distributed and glowing red before cooking.

4- Grill the picanha: Once the grill is hot, place the marinated picanha steak directly onto the grill grates, fat side down. Cook the steak for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (55-57°C), using a meat thermometer to check for accuracy.

5- Rest and slice: Once the picanha is cooked to your liking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes on a cutting board. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a juicy and tender final result. After resting, slice the picanha against the grain into thin strips, about ½ inch thick.

6- Serve and enjoy: Arrange the sliced picanha on a platter and drizzle with a little olive oil for added flavor. Serve immediately alongside your favorite side dishes, such as rice, beans, or grilled vegetables. Enjoy the succulent and flavorful taste of Cape Verdean Grilled Picanha with family and friends!

Note: Feel free to customize the seasoning according to your preference. You can add additional herbs and spices such as oregano, paprika, or cumin for extra flavor. Additionally, if you prefer a charcoal flavor, you can use wood chips or chunks to enhance the smokiness of the grilled picanha.

Nutritional Values:

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the ingredients used in the Cape Verde Grilled Picanha recipe:

Picanha beef steak (2 pounds / about 900g):

  • Calories: 2000
  • Protein: 200g
  • Fat: 140g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g


  • Excellent source of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
  • Contains healthy fats that support brain function and overall health.

Garlic (4 cloves, minced):

  • Calories: 18
  • Protein: 0.8g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0.2g


  • Rich in antioxidants that help boost the immune system and protect against oxidative damage.
  • Contains compounds with potential anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  • May contribute to heart health by helping to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Coarse salt (2 teaspoons):

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sodium: 4640mg (Note: Salt intake should be monitored, especially for those with hypertension or other health concerns.)


  • Essential for proper electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Plays a role in nerve function and muscle contraction.
  • Helps enhance the flavor of dishes when used in moderation.

Olive oil (for brushing):

  • Calories: 120 (per tablespoon)
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g


  • Rich in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, which help protect cells from damage.
  • May have anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to overall well-being when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as brand, cooking methods, and specific ingredients used. Additionally, the nutritional values provided are based on standard USDA data and may not account for any additional ingredients or variations in preparation.


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