Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a classic Tuscan sharing steak, cut from the larger end of the porterhouse of a Chianina ox, a heritage cattle breed native to Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, famed for its white coat, colossal size and the rich marbling of its meat. This magnificent steak, which is traditionally cooked over a wood fire with butter and local herbs, is large enough to feed three or four people.
For this recipe, you will need a good-quality iron skillet with heat-proof handle, and a heat glove.
- Serves: 2-4
- Cooking temperature: 270-300°C
- Cooking time: Internal temperature reading of 45-48°C
- 1.5kg bistecca alla Fiorentina, or porterhouse steak
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- A bunch of oregano
- A bunch of sage
- 500g butter
- Fine sea salt
4 hours before cooking, season the steak all over and place in the fridge on a serving plate loosely covered with baking parchment. After 2 hours, remove from the fridge to come up to room temperature.
Light your Alfa oven and bring it up to 300°C. Tie the herbs to the bottom of a wooden spoon. You will be using flavour-packed brush to baste melted butter onto the steak as it cooks.
Put the butter in a small saucepan and place at the mouth of the oven to melt. Do not let the butter brown.
Place your skillet into the oven for a few minutes to pre-heat. Once it is hot, use a heat glove to reposition the pan at the mouth of the oven. Hold the steak upright with the fat pressed down in the pan, so the fat starts to render and caramelise, then turn onto the bone side. Once some juices have been released, lie the steak down on one side, dip your herb brush in the butter and baste the meat. The heat of the oven will release oils from the herbs into the butter, which forms a crust. Place the pan back into the oven.
Keep an eye on your steak. You want a good crust to form but not burn. Carefully remove the pan from the oven, baste the meat with butter and then flip the steak over and baste again. If the oven is too hot, let the pan and steak rest outside the oven for a minute or so before returning it.
Repeat this process until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 45-48°C. Take the pan out of the oven and remove the steak from the pan. Place on baking parchment, baste a couple more times with butter, then wrap in the parchment to rest. Meanwhile, crack on with any sides.
Carve the steak at the table to wow your guests. To carve, use a sharp carving knife to remove the sirloin and fillet, staying close to the bone. Then, in 2-3cm slices, cut against the grain to create generous slices. Present back on the bone. Finish with more of the herby butter and freshly ground black pepper.