- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Splurge
- Favorited: 26 Times
Bistecca Chianina Alla Maremmana
Bistecca fiorentina is what everyone eats when traveling to Tuscany, but since I have taken you to Maremma, I want to share with you the way they cook and eat bistecche in Maremma. One would expect that in this cattle-grazing region, the bistecca would be from the longhorns that roam the hills and pastures there, and traditionally it was. But the Maremma is not known for tender meat, and today on the grills of the best places and homes in Maremma you will find beef from Chianina. Still, although the meat may be Chianina, the preparation still reflects Maremma.
The cut of the meat is a porterhouse steak, which is similar to a T-bone steak but with a larger cross-section of the tenderloin (filet mignon) along one side of the “T.” The loin of the Chianina is enormous; hence the big pieces of meat that surround the T-bone. Choose a prime or “top choice” steak that has been aged properly for 2 to 3 weeks.
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary needles
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 porterhouse steak, 2½ to 3 inches thick, about 3 pounds, at room temperature
- A mortar and pestle
- A gas or charcoal grill
Chop the rosemary needles finely with a chef's knife, and place in the mortar with the salt. With a pestle, crush and grind it all together into a coarse rub.
Continue grinding with the pestle as you drizzle in the olive oil, until the mixture has thinned to spreading consistency. Cover and set aside.
Heat the grill thoroughly over a high gas flame or a deep, glowing bed of charcoal. Lay the steak on it, and grill the first side for 8 to 10 minutes, until the meat is well browned and marked. Turn onto the other side, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, to brown and mark it. Prop the steak up, and holding it with tongs, grill the edges until browned. Grill the sides again for equal lengths of time, to cook the steak to doneness.
The steak may need anywhere from a total of 25 to 35 minutes to cook to rare, depending on thickness and the heat of your grill. It should feel springy to the touch. If you have an instant-read meat thermometer, it should read about 120° when inserted a couple of inches into the side of the steak (but register cooler temperatures nearer the bone).
When done, set the steak on a platter or carving board and immediately brush it with the rosemary paste, coating it lightly on all surfaces. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes, allowing the natural juices and the seasoning to permeate the entire cut.
First cut the large loin and tenderloin sections away from either side of the T-bone. Slice each piece on a slight angle into ½-inch-thick strips, and reassemble them next to the bone. Pour over the meat any juices released in carving, and drizzle with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil.
© 2007 Tutti a Tavola, LLC
This recipe serves 6.