At the time of the Medici, Florence celebrates the night of St. Lawrence with large bonfires burning in the city, on which huge quantities of meat were roasted then distributed among the population. Florence was at the time important crossroads of trade and traders from all over the world. It is reported that during one of the festivities some British merchants asked to receive portions of that meat by invoking “beef-steak“, literally rib or bull. The Italianization of the English term resulted in the steak word, entering the common use of our language.
The writer and gastronomy Pellegrino Artusi, author of the first recipes in Italy, “The science of cooking and the art of eating good”, gives the Florentine steak a very precise definition, indicating meat cut, method and grade of cooking.
The Florentine steak, says Artusi, is a cut of vitello’s lettuce. Its ideal thickness is a finger or a finger and a half, and it is cooked on the grate, making sure to keep it soft and juicy and adding the salt just to the baking done.
Today cooking steak Florentine is a true art, or a precise science, measured on timing and raw material quality.
The cut should be done on the chicken liver calf, taking the fillet, the sirloin and the bone with the characteristic form separating them, the so-called T-bone.
The meat should be frozen for three weeks, ie it must rest and reach a level of softness suitable for cooking.
The cooker used for cooking is preferably of oak or olive wood, the meat must pass through a first cooking phase without condiments, during which the high temperature creates a thin crust on the surface; The cooking is then continued at a lower temperature, turning the meat one by one and then finishing the cooking by placing it vertically on the bone.
If the crust is crusty, the heart of the steak must remain soft and juicy; The steak must be handled with a clamp and never plunged with fork or the like, just because it does not lose its precious and tasty juices. Salt and pepper are the only condiments needed for this delight.
Savor a Florentine steak at a restaurant in Florence, the city where it was born, is an unrepeatable culinary experience and absolutely worth a try.