Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Dear Viewer /Guest
I recommend you to visit Dario’s place Antica Macelleria Cecchini –
with all my heart
pls, give him my Regards
In the Chianti area of Tuscany in the a small town of PENZANO lies a very special restaurant,
eating in this restaurant equals stepping at heaven doors and here is why.
For many years I have been traveling in Tuscany & Umbria enjoying its unique atmosphere & cuisine ,
I tasted the Bistecca Alla Fiorentinain in a dozens of restaurants and villas where we were hosted, while we learn the secrets of its preparation.
Always in the background appeared the name Dario, which I learned to appreciate long before we met.
Dario decided years ago to continue his family tradition as a butcher but he later turns out to be much more than that.
Not only the fact that he sends steaks by air to the USA, but his decision to preserve a long disappearing tradition in Italy made me adore him.
In one of my trips we decided that time has come and we must meet him .
We drove out from our Agriturismo Az. iL Querciollo were we stayed
To the town of PENZANO crossing the winding Tuscan dense forests roads .
We arrived and entered the meat shop across the restaurant where a warm and tasty welcome was expecting us.
Dario and his wife met us with huge smiles and warmth, they poured a glass of Chianti and encouraged us to taste the classic Italian meat delicacies which were generously arranged – sliced sausage, Porcheta , homemade cheeses, breads and more wine.
meeting with us caused his heart to overflow.
Beyond the charming personality Dario participates in Humanitarian activities .
While crossing the street toward the restaurant , Dario continued to treat us like a good Jewish mother.
The restaurant is located in the building across the street from a meat shop where the reception took place .
It has a glass floor and two rooms that each has one large table for 10-12 guests.
There are no standard tables but a gathering of dinner guests which all sit down around a big table.
At first we were a little embarrassed but slowly the atmosphere was thawed ,
as we were sitting in an international company with two Italians and two Austrians and five Swedish.
The meal began with bowls of sliced vegetables when each diner has a little bowl next to the plate in which he put a little olive oil,
salt and pepper and dip the vegetables.
Then slowly but endless dishes procession began, brochette, meats, vegetable dishes and meat dishes. All this accompanied by fine local wine.
As dinner continued so Relations among the guests, a jolly Group of people that speaks about life, it took a little longer to connect with the Austrians, of course, the Italians were very happy, only the Swedish were obsessive for their national food… Meatballs.
we had a wine produced by the Italian Army, At least it’s better than an army that does wars ….
We had a wonderful evening without politics and tensions. For dessert we had special liqueurs – one of them produced by the Italian army as well and of Course the famous Torta De La Nonna cake.
The meal continued approximately two hours, it was difficult to finish until the waiter suggested … Its time …
and got an smiley answered …. ” we are staying … you can leave … “
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The great experience of meeting with Dario and especially partners from different countries .
in addition to wonderful food and wine flavors left us overwhelmed.
One of Dario’s aims here is to demonstrate its possible to have an Italian chef dinner ,
for a more then reasonable price per person.
All the way back to our Agriturismo we did not stop Praising the special meal we have just had.
I recieved an email from a student, asking why the recipe for cooking Florentine steak wasn’t in my cookbook.
It is so easy, I didn’t even think about it, as really it is more of a non-recipe.
I then began to think, it is usually the easiest recipes that are the hardest to reproduce!
So here are some of my thoughts on the Tuscan T-Bone.
Of course the secret to great steak..is great meat! Using the best will let the flavor of the meat shine through!
Source out a fabulous butcher!
The beef here grazes and is very lean,not pumped up with antibiotics, so needs to be left really rare to be tender.
I look for lean meat, no marbleing, but with a nice layer of white fat on the outside, my favorite part after grilling!
In Florence, I can choose from one of many in the market.
I walk around looking that day at the different steaks. Today I picked the Chianina steak from Emilio
Get the coals going, or wood…
Or heat up a cast iron skillet or griddle.
When the heat is right ( coals and wood should not be flaming,but hot coals.. White and red..)
Put the meat on to cook.
Cut the meat off the bone, into large serving sizes, divide the filet also.
Sprinkle with sea salt and if you like you can also drizzle with olive oil .
Many like to serve a lemon wedge.
.. gas grills???
I am sure it imparts a flavor too..
I am not an expert on gas grills,maybe someone can do a taste test for me!
Do they impart a flavor too?
Leave the meat to cook 3-5 minutes per side.
( depending hot HIGH the steak is cut, it Italy it is three fingers high)
Often, they also cook the steak for the last 5 minutes, standing up on it’s bone, to get that last bit cooked around the “T”.
After the steak is cooked, let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
If you cut the meat right away, it will bleed and lose all it’s juices, drying out!
You want it to be black and blue, seared crispy on the outside, then with a grey layer, then the red , almost raw steak.
Think Prime Rib?
Cooking teacher, pastry chef, Italian life coach. I came to Europe in 1984, and found my own personal renaissance when I came to Florence. The passion for food, quality of life, and enjoying the slow moving sometimes frustrating Italian way of living. Daily chasing of dreams, recording flavors to pass on. Tante Belle Cose.
Chi Vuole Essere Leita Sia… Lorenzo di Medici
Chi Vuole Essere Leita Sia… Lorenzo di Medici