Toscana or Tuscany is the region we visit today and in that region you will easily find Bisteca Fiorentina being served in most restaurants. It’s grilled porterhouse steak for two, specially cut as one large 2-3 pound steak using Chianina beef, from cattle that date back to the roman empire, and is a unique white color with a black switch.
How does one explain that the simplest recipe can be a culinary mind blower. That is, as long as you use the best ingredients, and you carefully pay attention. You need to know when to bring on the power and when to play the softest note. I used T-Bone steaks as Marcella suggested, but not chianina, but she states in her recipe that any good aged steak will do.
In this case the power is in the freshly cracked peppercorns, generously sprinkled on both sides of a porterhouse steak. The soft note is the caressing of garlic done only after the side is grilled. And, then maybe, if you feel like it, a drizzle of olive oil, but it better be a worthy choice. A dusting of course sea salt, and a patient wait of ten minutes and you have a perfectly seasoned delicious piece of meat.
I’ve read a few different takes on this dish. Some rub the garlic prior to cooking, but Marcella is very emphatic about waiting until you flip the steak, and then drizzling a touch of good olive oil AFTER the steak is cooked. This makes perfect sense because you will be using a very high heat, which is not good for either garlic or olive oil. Just be sure to bring your steak to room temperature before you begin.
Cooking Italy: Bisteca Fiorentine-T-Bone Steak, Florentine Style
- A charcoal or wood burning grill I used a gas grillBlack peppercorns, ground very course or crushed with a pestle with a mortar
- 1 T-Bone steak 1 1/2” thick, brought to room temperature
- Coarse sea salt
- lightly crushed and peeled garlic clove
- Extra virgin olive oil
- If grilling with charcoal, wait until you see a white ash. If grilling on gas grill, preheat 20 minutes ahead to high.
- Rub steak with peppercorns on both sides.
- Grill to desired wellness. Medium rare is about 5 minutes on one side, 3 on the other. As you turn steak, rub with garlic clove, including the bone, add salt. Do this on both sides.
- When steak is finished, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Allow steak to rest 10 minutes. Serve.
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