Monday, October 30, 2017

Steak Fiorentina with Cannellini Beans & Chanterelles

One of the simplest and most succulent dishes of Florence is the renowned Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a thick T-bone steak of the highest quality traditionally sourced from either the Chianina or Maremmana breeds of cattle. Thickly cut and very large, Bistecca alla Fiorentina are often shared between two or more people, and traditionally served very rare, sometimes garnished with lemon wedges, and accompanied with Tuscan white beans as a side dish — and of course an excellent bottle of red wine such as a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Weighing in at over one kilogram, the steak is cooked simply over a wood or charcoal fire to showcase the quality of the beef. Seasoned with sea salt and top quality olive oil after the meat has been removed from the heat and rested briefly, I find that brushing the steak with rosemary also imparts an herbal fragrance to this traditional Tuscan dish that served with sautéed chanterelles and lovely nutty lamb's lettuce salad, is nothing short of exceptional.

Cannellini beans with olive oil and pepper

Valeriana or Lamb's Lettuce Salad

Fresh local Umbrian chanterelles sautéed with olive oil and fresh thyme

Served with sliced Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the chanterelles were a lovely decadent side dish

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Serves 4

2 1⁄2" thick bone-in Bistecca alla Fiorentina, about 3 1⁄2 to 4 lb
1⁄4 cup top quality olive oil
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs of rosemary
Lemon wedges, for serving

Brush the steaks with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat an outdoor charcoal or wood grill to high, banking the coals to one side once they are hot and covered in part with white ash. Place the steak on a rack about 3 inches above the coals and grill on the hottest part of the coals, flipping once, until browned, about 4-6 minutes for rare. Let the steak rest 5 minutes, then using a sharp knife, remove the meat on either side of the bone in one piece and cut each piece into thick slices. To serve, divide the slices among four serving plates and drizzle with top quality olive oil and a flurry of Maldon salt.

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