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Few dishes symbolize Florence and evoke a sense of place more than Bistecca alla Florentina. The term gained currency in the mid-nineteenth century with the arrival of British settlers in Tuscany.
- Two 1 ½-pound steaks, T-bone or porterhouse
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the grill or broiler. Add the steaks and grill or broil for 5 minutes on each side for rare, until browned on the outside and just pink inside. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle a ring of oil on a warmed dish, put steaks on it and serve immediately, sprinkled with pepper.
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Recipe (Florentine Steak)
Meet the king of all steaks, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Recipe. Seasoned 3-pound porterhouse steak that is grilled to perfection and brushed with butter and fresh herbs.
Man do I love steak, and this may be one of the best ever. I’m actually not a huge meat eater anymore, but golly is this one worth craving, making, and eating.
Also known as Florentine Steak, may be new to you but it’s been going down for years across Italy and Italian restaurants in the US.
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
Giada is a chef, mother, author and restauranteur. She is known as the Emmy-award winning television personality of Food Network‚Äôs Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, Giada In Italy, as a judge on Food Network Star, NBC Today Show correspondent, for her eight New York Times best-selling cookbooks and her debut restaurant, GIADA, in Las Vegas. Though most days, you can find her in Los Angeles with her daughter, Jade and kitten, Bella, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen involving parmiggiano reggiano or her weakness, dark chocolate!
Bistecca alla Fiorentina Recipe - Recipes
The Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a Tuscan killer of a steak. Weighing in at 3 pounds, it is large, tender and made for the barbecue. This style of steak originated in Tuscany and is made from the local Chianina cattle there.
The bistecca de fiorentina is basically a double sized porterhouse so you may need to call ahead to your butcher to have it specially cut for you as porterhouses are normally sold at 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. This is a steak that is perfect for the summertime as you can also grow many of the herbs used to season it in your own backyard.
Although the Fiorentina is an Italian specialty, consider serving it with some Brazilian Vinaigrette Relish.
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp Kosher salt
3 pound T-Bone steak
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used 3 olive olive oil)
- Light the grill.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the first five ingredients.
- Apply half of the herb mixture to one side of the T-Bone steak. Then drizzle 1 to 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and rub it into the herb mixture.
- Turn the steak over and repeat the previous step.
- Cover the steak in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- When the grill is extremely hot, put the steak on the grill and then cover the grill. Cook for 13 minutes on the first side so that the meat is well charred.
- Flip the steak and cook for another 13 minutes.
Need a wine to go with the Bistecca alla Fiorentina? Try this one: MontGras Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva
10 Recipes from Stanley Tucci’s ‘Searching for Italy’
Missing Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy? We understand. For six weeks straight, the actor and author transported viewers to Italy, uncovering history, humanity, and culture through the lens of food.
While we’ve got you covered for all the places to hit up on your next trip, we realize that a trip to Italy might be on hold for the foreseeable future – but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the dishes that dazzled Tucci's palate in il bel paese. Here are 10 recipes from Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy that you can make at home.
1. Spaghetti alla Nerano
Here’s our spaghetti alla Nerano recipe, the spaghetti with fried zucchini he enjoyed at Lo Scoglio on the Amalfi Coast during the episode dedicated to Campania. Plus some tips for perfecting the dish.
2. Tagliatelle al ragù
This meat sauce (which some might refer to as bolognese) tossed with silky ribbons of fresh tagliatelle is an indisputable Italian classic. In the Emilia-Romagna episode, Tucci enjoys it at Casa Artusi, named for the late and great Pellegrino Artusi. Here’s our tagliatelle al ragù recipe.
3, 4, and 5. Roman pasta trinity: Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana, and Carbonara
Cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and carbonara comprise the holy Roman pasta trinity, and Tucci samples all three during the Rome episode. Here are our recipes for cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and carbonara.
Carbonara, photo: Riccardo Lettieri
6. Pasta alla Norma
This pasta with tomatoes, fried eggplant, and ricotta salata cheese is one of Sicily’s most beloved dishes – and one of the most simple to recreate at home. Here’s our pasta alla norma recipe.
7. Cotoletta alla Milanese
The Milanese-style veal cutlet is a must-eat in Milan. During the Lombardy episode, Tucci visits Ratanà restaurant where he prepares the dish with chef Cesare Battisti. Here’s our cotoletta alla Milanese recipe.
8. Cacciucco alla Livornese
When in Tuscany, Tucci sampled this historic fish stew from the port city of Livorno, and it stole his heart. Here you’ll find our cacciucco alla Livornese recipe.
9. Bistecca alla Fiorentina
In the final Tuscany-themed episode, Tucci enjoys bistecca alla Fiorentina, the traditional Florence-style steak, with chef Fabio Picchi. Here’s you’ll find our bistecca alla Fiorentina recipe along with some tips for perfecting the steak.
10. Delizia al Limone
Here’s Sal de Riso’s recipe for Delizia al Limone, an exquisite representation of the Amalfi Coast in the dessert form. The region's storied lemons, Limone Costa d’Amalfi PGI, are what makes the dessert so particular – if you can’t find them, Meyer lemons are a nifty substitute.
Step 1: Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to medium-high. Ideally, you’ll grill over a bed of embers, using natural charcoal lumps.
Step 2: When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the steak on the hot grate at a diagonal to the bars. Dump a fistful of rock salt (about 1/4 cup) on top. Grill the steak until it is crusty and browned on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes.
Step 3: Turn the steak over and dump another fistful of salt on top. Continue grilling the steak until the second side is crusty and browned and the meat is cooked to taste, 5 to 8 minutes longer, about 10 minutes in all for rare 14 to 16 minutes in all for medium-rare. Use the poke test to test for doneness.
Step 4: Lift the porterhouse with tongs and hold it upright over the grill. Using the back of a large knife, whack it on both sides to knock off the excess salt. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, let it rest a couple of minutes, then take it to the table.
Step 5: With guests watching and as much ceremony as you can muster, cut the New York strip portion of the porterhouse (the larger, elongated steak) off the T-bone. Then cut the tenderloin (the rounder steak on the other side) off the bone. At most Tuscan grill houses, the meat would be thinly sliced, but at Buca Lapi, they place the whole steaks on a platter or plates, with the T-bone standing upright like an obelisk. If the meat on the bone is too rare—even for an Italian—you can return it to the grill for additional charring.
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Recipe – A Holiday Feast with Il Borro
A beautiful T-bone steak recipe that’s marinated in olive oil and herbs before being grilled in a pan or over the charcoal, this beef is traditionally served in Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche where great quality meats are readily available. Serve it over the holidays, or anytime you can get your hands on a fabulous piece of beef! This dish pairs beautifully with oven-roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus.
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina – Serves 3 to 4
- Two teaspoons Herb de Provence
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients for the marinade together. Marinate the t-bone steak for at least two hours prior to cooking, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
In a large, oven-proof pan or over the charcoal grill, , sear the steak on each side for approximately four to five minutes or until brown.
Transfer the steak to the oven, and cook 15 minutes for a rare steak. If additional cooking is required, cover with aluminum foil and cook until the desired doneness. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before carving. Carve steak along the bone and slice. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Grilled Bistecca alla Fiorentina – Renassaince This for a Taste of Enlightenment!
Among the many jewels in the beautiful city of Florence, such as the statue of David, the Uffizi and Accademia galleries, the Giotto Bell Tower, the Jersey Shore cast recently, Il Duomo, Fontana del Nettuno, Ponte Vecchio, Roberto Baggio (he’s not actually from there but he did electrify the F.C. Fiorentina fans playing for their beloved “La Viola” in the late 80’s prior to starring in the 1990 World Cup)… the one signature dish that deserves it’s own statue is the Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florence style steak). Surprisingly to most, the Tuscan’s graze some of the best beef in all of Europe, produced from the Chiana Valley area of the region. The beef even has it’s own name Chianina beef , do you have a name for your beef? I didn’t think so!
I remember my last time in Florence (I’ve actually only been to Florence once, but it just sounds cool when I can say the last time I was in blah, blah, blah…), I wasn’t aware of the great popularity and pride the Florentine’s took in their steak. One evening I ordered Firenze’s finest and requested it to be served as the locals do. Thankfully, the waitress noticed my accent (and how I was butchering her language) and in perfect American English, suggested I have my Bistecca alla Fiorentina cooked a little longer. Even after that recommendation, the dish came to my table and was fairly bloody by American steak standards. However, the tenderness and seasoning of the beef was incredible! So outstanding, I wanted to scream like the dude from SteelHeart!
The preparation for Bistecca alla Fiorentina is quite simple but finding the right beef can be challenging. If you have a local butcher, inquire about Chianina beef and while it’s not likely they will have it, it’s worth asking (only recently has Chianina beef been raised in the US). If not, find a thick Porterhouse cut and by thick I mean REAL thick, like at least 2 inches thick! Once you have your steak, do as the Florentine’s do and other expert steakhouses, and air dry your steak before grilling by not allowing the bottom of the steak to rest (I used 2 bbq skewers to prop the steak above a plate). This will prevent some of the juices from exiting the beef and I would do this a few hours before grilling (be sure to allow the steak to be at room temperature before grilling as well for even cooking).
To really enjoy your Bistecca alla Fiorentina, get your charcoal grill smokin’ hot! I prefer to use hardwood lump charcoal and a handful of mesquite wood chips for a slightly smokey flavor (I also soak a few more for after the wood charcoal is in the grill pit). Most Tuscan’s season the beef with a lot of salt and pepper after the steak has seared and turned over on the grill but I prefer to season just before, with a very light covering of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put the steak on (with a forklift) and sear for about 5-7 minutes on each side. After, move the steak to a medium heat zone of the grill and not a cool zone, you want the steaks to continue to cook for another 5 minutes per side (this method that I’m suggesting would be considered blasphemy in Florence as they prefer the meat very rare, and I do prefer a rare steak but for a flavorful medium rare taste, cook it a little longer). Once the steaks are tender and ready, remove from the grill and sit for 5 minutes. The Florentine way is then to lightly dress the steaks with balsamic vinegar and lemon wedges before slicing to serve.
Since we’re talking about Florence and Tuscany, it’s essential to have a glass of Chianti to join your Bistecca alla Fiorentina, as some of the best vineyards in the world are from that region. I happened to have a bottle of Barolo on hand (guilty….) and it was a savory compliment to the beef but if you have the opportunity, find a nice Chianti Reserva, Super Tuscan, or Brunello di Montalcino and enjoy the blessings of Tuscany. So raise your glasses (and bottles)….here’s to Florence, the Renaissance, Enlightenment, Da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Dante, the mayor of Florence for trying to prevent the Jersey Shore cast from entering their city, and of course, Bistecca alla Fiorentina! Forza Firenze!
Recipe forBistecca alla Fiorentina(Roman Braised Steaks)
L ook, the Romans did not really eat steak. I have no idea where this came from. According to Correus, there are a few that are similar, but the ingredients are similar to dozens of meat and non-meat dishes. It's more an attempt to "Roman-up" something we modern folks like. Great. Try it and eat it in that vein. Don't think that the average Roman ate steak. Here's some notes:
There is one recipe that Apicius wrote about that has been speculated to use "braising steaks" which are nothing more than larger chunks of meat &mdash usually tough cuts such as chuck, skirt, leg and flank. I have yet to figure out why this particular recipe is associated with "braising steaks" other than the recipies are meant to use larger chunks or slices of beef or veal and not large pieces or the whole animal. The recipe is very similar to several other like recipes found throughout the various recipe sources.
The closest recipes to be associated with "steak" aren't even close to the one mentioned above but can be found in Apicius: De Re Coquinaria, Book 8 — The Quadruped (Liber VIII Tetrapus), Chapter 5. Beef and Veal (V. Bubula Sive Vitellina ):
- Fried Veal (I. Vitellina Fricta)
- Veal or Beef With Leeks or Quinces or Onions or Taros (II. Vitulinum Sive Bubulam Cum Porris <Vel> Cydoneis Vel Cepis Vel Colocasiis)
- Sauce for Boiled Veal (III. In Vitulinam Elixam)
- Another Sauce for Boiled Veal (IV. Aliter In Vitulin Elixa).
Something to keep in mind, is that the Romans were very similar to us when it came to chunks of meat. When we cook "steaks" it's generally on a grill or frying pan/griddle. It is usually cooked with a little salt and pepper or along with other spices or a steak rub the Romans loved to grill their meats the same way.
Finely chop the rosemary leaves with a chef ’s knife, and place in a mortar with the salt. With a pestle, crush and grind them together into a coarse rub. Continue grinding with the pestle as you drizzle in the olive oil, until the mixture has thinned to spreading consistency. Cover, and set aside.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Lay the steak on the grill, and grill the first side for 8 to 10 minutes, until the meat is well browned and marked. Turn onto the other side, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. Set the steak on its edges, letting it stand or holding it with tongs, and grill the edges until browned, about 5 minutes total. Insert an instant- read thermometer into the center of the meat. It’s rare to medium rare if it reads 120 degrees and feels springy to the touch. If it is below 120 (and it may be, depending on the thickness of the steak and the heat of your grill), continue to grill, flipping and checking the temperature every 2 minutes.
When done, set the steak on a platter or carving board, and immediately brush it with the rosemary paste, coating it lightly on all surfaces. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes, allowing the natural juices and the seasonings to permeate the entire cut.
To serve, cut the large loin and tenderloin meat sections away from the T- bone. Once you have the two pieces of meat, slice each piece on a slight bias into ½-inch- thick strips, keeping the slices together and reposition the sliced piece of meat back on the T- bone in the original position. Pour any juices released in carving over the meat, and drizzle with a bit of extra- virgin olive oil.