BetsaPasta ‘Half-Truth’ Grilled Barrel Cut Filet Mignon Bistecca alla Fiorentina Style With Lemon & EVOO

To me many of the best recipes created are food concoctions. I’ve seen many recipes in cook books that I will adjust to my own taste based on what I would like a dish to taste like. A perfect example is marinara sauce made with a mirepoix.

"Authentic" Marinara?

A mirepoix (chopped celery, carrots and onions or any combination of these 3 veggies for that matter) is usually reserved for a meat ragu or bolognese sauce. My mirepoix will sometimes use shallots instead of onion. This is simply another quick example of playing with the ingredients in a recipe in order to satiate one’s taste…not to mention the mirepoix in a marinara sauce. Experimenting with flavors is part of what creates new recipes and concoctions can be quite delicious. Do you know anyone out there who makes a Caesar Salad with French’s yellow mustard? That’s another story. As a matter of fact, here it is 🙂

BetsaPasta Caesar Salad circa 1956

To my point.

Classically a Bistecca alla Fiorentina (known worldwide as the king of steaks) is simply seasoned with salt, brushed with olive oil and grilled. It’s origin was in Florence, Italy and in order for this Tuscan masterpiece to be true to it’s original recipe, it must feature the porterhouse steak. Anything else would be considered fraudulent or at the very least a half-truth….which brings us to my preparation.

I use only a barrel cut Filet Mignon…by far the most tender cut of beef. Traditionally Bistecca alla Fiorentina is anywhere from 3-4 fingers in height and I have them cut from the thickest part of the tenderloin  2″-21/2″  inches thick so they can take the sear and not overcook too quickly.

Two ways to prepare:

Winter Style…

-Use a cast iron skillet. This means it is oven proof and NOT non-stick

– -Rinse steaks under water and pat dry. Let steaks get to room temperature before placing in skillet

-When ready to start cooking, be generous in coating the steaks with fresh mill pepper first and then kosher salt on both sides.

-Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

Set the burner on your stove to medium high. When hot, immediately place a a very small coating of  EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in the center of your skillet and place the steak(s) in the pan at the same time. Sear for about 2-2 1/2  minutes on each side and repeat the process one more time for a total of about 8-10 minutes searing time. Remove the steaks and place in your oven for about 8-10 minutes for medium rare, the traditional way Bistecca alla Fiorintina is served. I say 8-10 minutes…however note it will depend on the exact thickness that will determine the doneness (yes, there is such a word) of your steaks to medium-rare.

-Immediately remove steak(s) from the oven and place on a plate. Squeeze a generous amount of fresh lemon on top of the steak(s) and then at least a tablespoon of EVOO on each steak.

-Cover with foil and wait about 5-6 minutes. Uncover your steak(s) and slice against the grain to your desired thickness. I like to slice thin at about 1/4″ per slice.

-Cover the sliced steak with all the combined natural juices from the steak, lemon and EVOO… and serve on a platter garnished with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley.

Summer Style/Straight Grilling (I use charcoal)

-Rinse steaks under water and pat dry. Let steaks get to room temperature before placing in skillet

-When ready to start cooking, coat with EVOO and then be generous coating the steaks with fresh mill pepper first and then kosher salt on both sides.

-Let the coals get white and place the steaks on the grill. No moving. No pressing.

-Sear for 3-4  minutes on each side and repeat the process one more time

-Immediately remove steak(s) from the grill and place on a plate. Squeeze a generous amount of fresh lemon on top of the steak(s) and then at least a tablespoon of EVOO on each steak.

-Cover with foil and wait about 5-6 minutes. Uncover your steak(s) and slice against the grain to your desired thickness. I like to slice thin at about 1/4″ per slice.

-Cover the sliced steak with all the combined natural juices from the steak, lemon and EVOO… and serve on a platter garnished with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley.

Hey everybody…Say Hi to Emma! We had lots of folks this evening in the USA and I had to prepare some of the steaks medium…but remember that traditionally the way to prepare Bistecca alla Fiorintina is medium rare. Oh yeah…saawwwy…no excuses…forgot the parsley for this presentation.

Bottom line…

It’s Bistecca alla Fiorintina without the NY Strip…with a squeeze of lemon…and with some EVOO…ie…my  phabulous ‘half-truth’ concoction:-)

 

As usual, please feel free to comment in the COMMENT box below with your suggestions…or…input your style

Mangia Bene,

Chef Bert

 

 

 

 

 

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