One of the largest steaks in the world, Florentine steak is the queen of Tuscan cuisine. This recipe for this traditional Italian dish, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, comes from Anthony Fullerton, Executive Chef of Bull & Bell Steakhouse in Griffith, New South Wales and thanks to Merthyr Village’s craft butcher, Peter Augustus and steakschool.com
Known as the holiest of holies of Italian cuisine, Florentine steak originates from Tuscany, Italy, and comes from the Chianina breed of cattle. These extra large T-bone steaks are cut from the sirloin and give thanks to the city of Florence for its name.
Florentine steak is prepared almost exclusively with dry-aged beef. The meat should be at least three fingers wide so that when it is grilled over a very hot flame, a nice, slightly charred crust forms on the outside of the steak while the inside remains succulent.
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina is traditionally cooked over an open flame grill. To cook this at home, it is recommended to cook over a wood fired BBQ for a more authentic flavour.
As any true Tuscan will insist, this mouth-wateringly delicious steak should only be eaten “sanguinoso”, meaning rare with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, rosemary and salt, followed by a well-bodied wine like a Chianti.
Recipe: Bistecca Alla Fiorentina
- Wood fired BBQ
- A flat tray
- Aluminium foil
- 1 x dry-aged Florentine or T-bone steak, at least 1kg and about three fingers wide. (We use Stanbroke Flinders Natural Grass Fed Beef in place of the traditional Chianina calf.)
- Pink salt flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch of rosemary
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Smoked salt
Season both sides of the steak generously with pink salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
Place half the rosemary on the tray. Drizzle one side of the steak with extra virgin olive oil, then place the steak on top of the rosemary on the tray. Place the remainder of the rosemary on top of the steak, drizzle with more oil then cover and let it rest until the steak comes to room temperature (about 90 minutes).
Heat your wood fired BBQ. Once you’ve got a hot flame, place the steak on the BBQ plate and cook for about four minutes on each side. The bone acts as a radiator to conduct the heat inside the meat. Cooking times will vary, depending on the size of the steak, the differences in dry aging and the meat itself. Use your eye (and your meat thermometer) to make the final call.
Remove the steak from the BBQ onto the tray, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least five minutes.
Once rested, cut the T-bone steak to separate the striploin and the fillet. Finish by slicing the steak into pieces and placing them, as well as the bone, back on the grill for another 30 seconds before serving.
Take the bone and place it in the centre of your plate. Arrange the sliced meat to reform the steak. Drizzle it with a little extra virgin olive oil and a final sprinkle of smoked salt. Garnish with rosemary & lemon. Buon appetito!