Behind the scenes at Fazenda Manchester
Alcatra, known as rump steak, is a staple piece in any rodizio, asado or churrasco in South America and is the protagonist of meats in Brazilian and Argentinian culture.
We went behind the grill to give you some insight into how we prepare this much loved cut of beef. We spoke to Emerson, who heads up our team of passadores (meat experts) at our Manchester restaurant.
Preparing and cooking the meat
‘Alcatra is a big piece of meat that comes from the back of the cow and is a very tender cut. The quality of the Alcatra depends really on the age of the cow and how it’s reared. The younger the cow, the better the meat.
As quality is so important to us, we source our Alcatra from different countries dependent on the quality the farmers can provide us with. We usually receive the Alcatra in pieces that weigh between 5 – 7kg, and our expert butchers prepare the meat before putting it on the grill.
To get the best from the meat, we need to make sure we remove all of the unwanted pieces of fat, but keeping the outer layer out thick fat is important for cooking. The fat gives the meat its amazing flavours.
When butchering it we cut our rump into three pieces so it fits perfectly onto the skewers. The meat is so flavoursome already so we don’t need to season it much. We just add some rock salt – and sometimes garlic for another of our guests’ favourite Fazenda cuts – before grilling it.’
At Fazenda, we usually cook our meats between medium rare and medium, and the same applies with the Alcatra.’
Alcatra at home
‘As always, we recommend that you source your meat from your local butcher. They usually will have removed the unwanted fat before you buy it.
Ensure that the meat is cut thinly, but don’t cut it too small otherwise the meat dries out quickly. If you don’t have a 6ft grill at home like ours at Fazenda, cook your meat in a griddle pan, it’s perfect for this. Just add some salt and garlic, and you’re ready to go!
Do you want to know any hints or tips for cooking Alcatra at home, Fazendeiros? You can ask us in the comments below!