One night in Florence, we treated ourselves to the Tuscan specialty, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina. To keep our budgets intact, we split three steaks between the eight of us and coupled it with one dish of pasta. It was bloody rare, fork tender, and bursting with rich flavor! In Tuscany, this is prepared from a Chianina young steer, but in New York, I chose a Porterhouse cut from my favorite Italian butcher. In Italy, the Bistecca is commonly prepared over hot oak charcoal.
1 Porterhouse steak, about 11/2 inches thick (1 ½ to 2 pounds)
Kosher salt or Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling
Take the steak out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking.
The steak should be cooked on a clean and oiled grill rack. Light a gas grill and preheat on high, with lid down, for 10 minutes.
Sear the steak, with the burners still on high and the lid up, for 4 to 5 minutes (for rare). Flip the steak and cook the second side for 4 to 5 minutes, or to your degree of doneness. While the steak is cooking, drizzle olive oil over a warm plate. Remove steaks from grill and place on the prepared plate. Salt and pepper the steak and drizzle with olive oil. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
First, carve out the filet and contre-filet. Slice each of these large pieces in slices as shown in the picture. Some people will serve this with grilled lemon halves and/or fresh rosemary, but I prefer it with only the salt, pepper, and hint of olive oil.
This is best enjoyed with an accompanying wine, of course! My pick is a Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Classico Riserva.