What Is Coulotte Roast?

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Photo by michael_swan licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There are many cuts of steak that come from one cow, and they all exude beefy flavor that works for different types of cooking and recipes. One lesser-known steak is the coulotte roast, which comes from the sirloin area of the cow, and is an excellent choice for grilling and roasting in the oven. 

Let’s learn more about this underdog of the steak world.

What Is Coulotte Roast?

Coulotte roast is known by many names: Culotte steak, picanha steak, top sirloin cap, and sirloin cap steak, to name a few. This cut comes from the sirloin primal, which sits between the ribs and round area of the cow. The sirloin is also where you find some of the best cuts of steak full of beefy flavor, like the tenderloin, porterhouse, T-bone, and top sirloin steak. 

The coulotte is a boneless piece of beef cut from the top sirloin cap. It has a layer of fat on it that keeps it tender and flavorful while cooking, which is precisely why it works so well as a roast. As it roasts for hours in the oven, the fat breaks down to continue keeping the meat tender.

The coulotte roast is much more prevalent in Brazil than it is in other parts of the world. There, it’s known as picanha steak, and it’s frequently cooked on the grill with lots of bold spices to bring out its best flavors. 

Coulotte isn’t a cut that you’ll generally find in small grocery stores, but your local butcher probably has it in stock. You might have to look for it under one of its many other names, though, like sirloin cap or even fat cap.

How Can You Cook a Coulotte Roast?

Coulotte is equally as tasty on the grill or as a roast. Brazil prefers this meat on the grill, as it’s often the star of barbecues and large events in the country. Brazilians typically use spice rubs or coat the meat in a traditional sofrito paste before adding thick coulotte slices to the grill. The result is a flavorful, crispy outer crust with delicious smoky grill flavors and a juicy, tender inside. 

If you have more time to spare, you can roast coulotte and cut it into steak when it’s done cooking. The perk of roasting this meat is that it stays super tender as the fat renders down, enhancing its flavor as it gets to the proper internal temperature. You can also slice the meat into steaks first and roast them separately, giving each one a nice, crisp crust.

Other potential ways to cook a coulotte are similar to other cuts of steak. You can sous vide, sear the roast in a skillet before finishing it in the oven, or even cut the roast into thin slices for stir fry like you would tri tip steak from the bottom sirloin. 

Coulotte Roast Recipe

Although you can cook coulotte steak in many ways, we prefer this cut of beef as a roast (although grilling is a close second). The low temperature and longer cook time let its natural juices flow through the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful, just like you’d expect from top sirloin. Here’s how to do it:

Servings: 4-6


  • Two pounds of top sirloin coulotte roast
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp ground peppercorn medley
  • 2 tbsp crushed sea salt
  • 2 tbsp Chicago Steak Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil


  1. Let the coulotte roast rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Score the fat cap in diagonal lines, about a ½-inch apart. Make cross-scores in the same fashion.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 and preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all spices and one tablespoon of olive oil. 
  4. Rub the spice and oil mixture onto the fat cap and around all sides of the roast. 
  5. Place the roast into the skillet with its fat cap facing down. Sear for 5-6 minutes until the fat turns a rich golden-brown.
  6. Turn the roast over and place it in a shallow roasting pan. Put the pan on the middle shelf of the oven.
  7. Roast for 30-60 minutes (oven times may vary). Your roast is ready to come out of the oven when it reaches 120 to 125-degrees if you’re cooking to medium-rare. For a medium roast, leave it in the oven until it reaches 130-degrees.
  8. Place the roast on a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and enjoying. 

Your Guide to Cooking Coulotte Steak

There’s not much of a learning curve when it comes to cooking coulotte steak if you’ve ever made a beef roast before. If you love roasts, we urge you to try our Chateaubriand Tenderloin Roast, which is one of the most flavorful and tender roasts you can eat. Roast in the oven and slice it just before serving. We offer both USDA Choice and USDA Prime selections.