Watching a Tuscan order the worshiped steak, bistecca alla Fiorentina is like witnessing food porn. The whole restaurant is in a lather from the kitchen to the wait staff to the delivery man dropping off the produce order. Everyone, in unison, sighs deeply as the hallowed slab of Chianina beef is hoisted to the fire. Chianina beef is the traditional breed used most often on menus featuring this sacred dish. It’s sold by weight, usually costing upwards of 100 euros. A diner ordering this steak is guaranteed spectacular service and jealous stares from nearby tables. I couldn’t believe one person could scarf down that much meat. It turns out that the steak is wheeled table side, carved off the bone, sliced against the grain and served family style. It’s a fabulous way to feed a crowd, minimize the cook’s work and still create a celebration. It’s brilliant!
The price of beef keeps me walking past it at the super market. Last week, steak was on sale so I had the butcher cut one extra thick so we could pretend we were In Italy. A little opera, a bold red wine, bistecca alla Fiorentino grilled to perfection. and we were in Cortona.
I encourage you to give this recipe a try the next time you’re entertaining. Given that one steak will happily feed two to three guests, makes it more palatable at the checkout. Add a crispy green salad, a couple of interesting vegetables dishes, a little bread and drink and you’ll be feasting Italian-style!
Using a bouquet of herbs as a basting brush leaves flavour traces of whatever herb or herbs you’ve chosen embedded in the grilled meat.
Rosemary’s wooden stem makes it a perfect grilling tool. I use a long string to tie up the herbs so that I don’t burn my hand over the scorching grill. I dip the herb brush in the olive oil then dangle it over the steak. Works like a charm!
STEAK TUSCAN STYLE – serves 2-3
- 1 (2″-thick) bone-in porterhouse steak (3 1⁄2 lb.)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Heat a gas grill to high – 600*F
- Brush steak with half of the olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place on he hottest part of grill, flipping only once – 4-6 minutes per side for medium rare.
- Use 3 rosemary sprigs tied together to make a basting brush, baste steak with remaining oil.
- Cook to desired doneness.
THE LOVE: If the outside starts to burn before the steak is fully cooked, move to a cooler side of the grill until done. Let the steak rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Thanks for reading.