T-bone Bistecca alla Fiorentina in Sweden

T-bone steak cooked in the style of bistecca all fiorentino, Sweden

T-bone steak in Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Sweden.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson and Cheryl Cordeiro-Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

One of our favourite ways of collecting travel memories is to bring back food ideas and inspirations. Its a nice way of revisiting your favourite spots without even leaving the comfort of home. I think the most memorable meal of our visit to Florence (2008) was at Trattoria Quatro Leoni that served up one of Florence’s best Bistecca alla Fiorentina. The steak came with spinach and fried potato wedges and a bottle of local red. The meal made for a most marvelous evening spent under the full moon of Tuscany, Italy.

Seeing a gorgeous T-bone meat slab weighing in at about 8 lbs (4 kg) in total at Svenskar Gårdar’s stall at the recent Food Fair Passion för Mat 2010, we couldn’t help but want to have T-bone steak, Tuscan style!

T-bone slab

Italian cooking calls for best possible ingredients and Svenskar Gårdar certainly supplied that. Cuts of about 2 inches (5 cm) feels about right. One slice of this size weighs about three quarters to one kg.

T-bone steak cooked in the style of bistecca all fiorentino, Sweden. Wood-stove drama.

On the firewood run cast iron stove.

If you want to keep and tenderize meet yourself it should be kept in big chunks. As for cooking, we rubbed the steak in chopped up fresh rosemary and a few garlic cloves, lots of rough sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and some lemon. Let the steaks rest for about one hour in this. Fry under lid in a very hot skillet for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Very important – let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before cutting it into portions.

For those who are interested in getting the perfect grilled steak, Sunbeam Grill Parts Blog offers some insightful tips.

T-bone steak, done over firewood stove.

Done and going off the grill.

Red meat will continue to cook even after being pulled from the grill. Tenting the meat or letting it rest for about 10 minutes will give the meat time to soften up after the heat on the stove and to reabsorb its juices. The time is well spent tasting the wine.

T-bone steak, bistecca alla fiorentino style served with spinach, butter and lemon.

Spinach fried with just a dollop of butter, salt and pepper.

This meal was Tuscan in philosophy through and through. No need to overdo the side dishes. Spinach in butter, potato wedges and sliced mushrooms are always nice.

Potatoes and mushroom, sauteed.

Sauteed mushrooms and potato wedges.

T-bone steak grilled over firewood stove, bistecca alla fiorentino style.

Ready for serving.

Red wine from Toscana

Rémole Toscana, 2007.

A genuine Tuscan wine sets the mood. Rémole Toscana is a decent table wine with lots of local flair. It is a deep purple and offers a taste of a combination of cherries and black currants. Feels about just right where a heavy Bordeaux might have seemed a better choice to a steak but then, it would not have felt Tuscan.

Norwegian Forest Cat with his T-bone steak done bistecca alla fiorentino style, Sweden.

The little lion with his share, seemed to prefer chewing on the bone rather than some cut up meat.

Due to the marbling of this particular meat, it was recommended that we tried this with a squeeze of lemon over it before eating. Despite our associations of lemon with fish, the salt and lemon juice over the steak was actually very good and a recommended try if you were going to do this too at home.

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