Roast Picanha with Spiced Quince

by Helen Graves

Starter Easy ​​​​​​​ 4 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes


1.5kg beef rump cap, also known as picanha

5 banana shallots, peeled and halved

4 dried chillies, (regular) seeds shaken out

1 dried guajillo chilli

2 dried pasilla chillies

4 bay leaves, (it's important to use dried leaves as they are going to be blended)

1/2 tbsp of white peppercorns

1/2 tbsp of black peppercorns

20g of sea salt

2 large quince, peeled

1 lemon, juiced

4 tbsp of brown sugar

200ml of Marsala wine

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

2. Cut the quince in half then cut each half into three pieces. Remove the seedy bit in the centre

3. Place them in a saucepan with 300ml water, the Marsala, sugar, cinnamon stick and spices. Simmer for 6 minutes or until a sharp knife goes through the quince easily

4. Lift from their poaching liquid and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Pour over a little of the liquid and cook for 10 minutes, or until completely soft

5. To cook the picanha, remove any sinew from the underside (not the fat side) of the meat. Heat a heavy frying pan or skillet over a high heat and sear the fat for a couple of minutes. Turn over and sear the underside for 1 minute more

6. In a spice grinder, blend the peppercorns, chillies and bay leaves. Mix in the salt and rub this all over the picanha

7. Place the halved shallots in an ovenproof roasting dish and sit the picanha on top. Roast, uncovered for 45 minutes for very rare (as in the photo), 50 minutes for medium rare, and so on. Rest for 20 minutes before serving with the quince