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The fillet steak is a cut that comes from the back of the animal, in correspondence of the buttocks, and is known in Italy as the codon, tip of sottofesa or cover of the chump.


The peculiarity of this cut is that, coming from a muscle that works a lot, the meat is not really very tender. However, cooking it to perfection, it can become one of the most delicious and tasty preparations to serve your guests, who will also be amazed to see you prepare and serve it. The best way to cook the picanha is to cut it into three or four slices two fingers thick, fold them with the fat on the outside and then stick them on a sword to be placed directly over the embers, at a distance of about thirty cm . The embers must not have too high temperature, the sword must be turned continuously so that the fat melts and coli on the meat, forming a crust. At that point we start slicing the meat from the outer part and serving it, until the raw layer is reached. You put the skewer back in cooking, you start turning again and proceeding in this way. It is served with a pinch of pepper and coarse salt, but if desired it can be salted before cooking, as they often do in Brazil.


If you do not have the swords available, you can also cook the fillet steak as a steak, cutting it into slightly less thick slices and laying them on the grill in direct cooking. However, if you accept advice, buy the swords. They will be well spent money.


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Starting instead from the final cut of the baby backs, up to the attachment of the sternum, we obtain the Spare Ribs cut. In Italy it is very difficult to get the Baby Backs cut, because usually the butchers tend to leave the arista attached to the spinal ribs and claim that making such a cut would mean “to waste the blood” (sometimes to some foolish who dared to ask the Baby Backs cut was asked to leave the butcher’s shop). The two American cuts are very different: while the Baby Backs have more meat on the bone and are more tender, the Spare Ribs have more meat between one bone and the other and are richer in fat and connective tissue. It is obtained by cutting Spare Ribs, by jogging the edges and removing any piece of protruding meat (skirt) on the back, which crosses the slab diagonally. To cook the ribs to perfection, whether it is a more Italian or a more complex American style, you have to remember two things: the first is to always remove the pleura, or the membrane on the back of the slab that when cooked is very annoying to the bite; the second thing to remember is that the ribs are rich in connective tissue and poor in meat, so you have to be very careful to cook them so that they are not hard and dry. If you want to cook the ribs so that they are tender and juicy, you must make sure that the collagen melts and the meat reaches a temperature between 93/95 ° C. Especially in the first firings it is advisable to use the foil (that is to wrap the ribs in triple layer of aluminum) adding water or apple vinegar inside the foil.


In short, to cook ribs it takes much more time and patience compared to the classic Italian barbecue, where they are thrown on the fire, blackened and made tough and inedible (and yet many are unable to eat by putting a strain on health dental).


Normally aluminum pans are used for this function. If filled with water, the drip pan absorb heat by reducing the temperature of the device, stabilizing it and adding moisture to the cooking chamber. In the drip pan can also be inserted vegetables, spices and other ingredients so that they cook together with the main dish and are flavored by the meat juices.

When using a drip pan, check that it does not dry completely and consequently burn the precious contents. If necessary, add a little hot water while cooking, especially if it is very long.