The bistecca alla fiorentina is an Italian steak made of young steer or heifer that, combined with the specific preparation, makes it one of the most popular dishes of Tuscan cuisine. It is a high cut including the bone, to be cooked on the embers or on the grill, with a degree of “blood” cooking.
This breed of cattle is known for their incredibly flavorful meat. To highlight the flavor of the meat, the steak is seasoned very simply, just with a little salt and pepper. In addition to being steak from a specific breed of cattle, this steak is also a very specific cut.
Why do people like Fiorentina
In essence, bistecca alla fiorentina is a porterhouse steak with a very large tenderloin, grilled in a very particular manner (read: over charcoal)—but more on this later. Before Gabrielle, my host father in Florence, proclaimed: “While you’re here, you must have bistecca alla fiorentina and lampredotto (a tripe sandwich),” I had never heard of it. I was then informed that I was a vegetarian, and I was then told, “Well, you must at least view both of these.”
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Ingredients that go into Fiorentina
- Steak – You will need a 2 to 3-pound bone-in porterhouse steak.
- Herbs – I like to use a combination of fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme.
- Seasonings – In addition to salt and pepper, you can use a little granulated garlic and onion to enhance the flavor.
- Fat – You will need some good olive oil and unsalted butter for this recipe.
How to cook Fiorentina
The steak is placed over roaring hot coals. Flipped only once, it’s cooked until the outsides are deeply charred and the insides remain rare. Bistecca alla fiorentina is saltedafterit comes off the grill so it doesn’t try out and arrives at the table glistening from a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and hit with freshly cracked black pepper. There’s no accompanying sauce. Purists won’t even squeeze lemon overtop, for fear of disguising the meat’s flavor.
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What can Fiorentina be served together with
The lampredotto—tripe long simmered in tomato and served on a soft roll, sometimes with other additions—was easy. It’s an ubiquitous street food. Finding a good bistecca alla fiorentina, at least according to Gabrielle, was much harder.
Other popular Italian food
Besides Fiorentina, there are other Italian food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:
- Bagna Cauda
- Fritto misto piemontese
- Gelato (Ice cream)
- I formaggi ( the Cheeses)
- Il Tartufo (The Truffle)
- Olive Ascolante (Ascoli olives)
- Panzerotto fritto (Fried Panzerotto)
- Pesto Alla Genovese
- Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham)
- Sardine in Saor
- Tortelli and Ravioli
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