Bistecca alla Fiorentina

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Its with a full tummy and a hearty grin that I post this, our 125th blog entry.

Tonight’s attempt was a classic Tuscan dish, bistecca alla Fiorentina. I remember Florence (Firenze) well…well, kind of. I was all of 16 years old when I was there in 1988 but admittedly I was more enamoured with being able to legally drink Peroni on the street than I was with trying to find one of the best culinary treats of the region!  So, a few years later and a few more pounds and grey hairs as well, I decided to recreate this masterpiece on the Big Green Egg.  The result? Absolutely a 100% success, despite not using Chianina or Maremmana beef or a $100/bottle extra extra extra virgin olive oil…but let me tell you, in all honesty it was damn good!

Tonight we used 2 classic boneless ribeye steak cut to about 2″, a decent grade of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kosher Salt with freshly cracked black pepper…that was it!

To prep, simply take your steaks, rub some olive oil on them and then put a generous amount of Kosher salt and black pepper. The salt makes for a delicious crust that can’t be beat! Get your grill well oiled and then scorching hot. I also threw in two small chunks of mesquite wood for a tiny bit of smokiness. More than that would ruin the delicate taste of the beef.

The Egg was at about 600 F when I was finally ready. I then placed the steaks on and set the timer for 5 minutes. Move the steaks around once in a while to ensure you get an even caramelisation of the surface – thats what makes that wonderful crust. At five minutes, flip the steaks and close the lid for another five though move them around about half way through. \

So 10 minutes in, close your bottom damper a bit and flip the steak again for another 4 minutes, then again for another 2. That should do it. Your internal temperature should be about 135-138F. You really need to invest in a good digital thermometer. It takes all the worry out of a meal like this. Now, take the steaks off and let them rest for another 5 minutes, however just before you let them rest, drizzle some quality olive oil on them and give them another helping of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Once rested, slice against the grain at a 45 degree angle and set the slices back onto a plate that will catch all those yummy juices! Serve immediately.

Heather, in all her culinary prowess, prepared some grilled zucchini, romaine lettuce, fetta, cherry tomatoes and toasted almond slivers witha simple lemon vinaigrette. A classic Heather salad as always!

The bistecca was complimented with a 2008 vintage Tuscan Chianti called Piccini and some absolutely fabulous spousal company. All I can say is Alex….you missed an awesome meal tonight! (WE MISS YOU!)

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

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