THEORY OF THE BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA
By the Butcher of Panzano
TEORIA DELLA BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA
Given that the Bistecca alla Fiorentina (a Florentine-style T-bone steak), is already one of the most supreme physical pleasures in this earthly life, it follows that this dish cannot be "improved upon" nor "modernized", because it is perfect as is and thus untouchable.
- A T-shaped bone, filet (top loin) and tenderloin, of mature beef, aged at least 20 days, with just the right amount of fat and not straight from the fridge, standing on a wooden chopping board while waiting for the grill. (This last part is more symbolic than practical, but important nonetheless.)
- Hot coals under the grill (use red or evergreen oak), let burn past their hottest point, when a bit of white ash forms on the embers.
- Grill low to the coals and the Grill Master ready to begin the ceremony, with a glass of good Chianti on hand for courage and inspiration.
- Five quick minutes per side and then fifteen minutes standing on edge.
- No salt or other seasoning that would offend this culinary alchemy.
- Return to the chopping board, let it stand, slice into chunks and eat!
To describe what this pleasure means for a healthy carnivore is impossible. It is to enter into communion with Tuscany itself, sealed with good red wine.
After, if you must, you can lightly salt, sprinkle with pepper or bless with a drizzle of olive oil.