Recipe: Sam Mannering's Florentine-style T-bone steak with salsa verde
I once had a seminal experience in Florence. It was the day Michael Jackson died and people were lighting candles in front of the Duomo. It was all a bit ridiculous. Over-the-top sentiment and popular culture are two things I struggle with.
I was hungover and not in the mood. It wasn't how I imagined my first visit to Florence. Exasperated, I sat down at a local for a steadying drink. Two girls next to me were having lunch and I will never forget it. They were sharing a T-bone that was roughly the size of my face – the legendary bistecca alla Fiorentina.
I promptly ordered a whole one to myself. It came with a sharp green sauce and nothing else, and was, beyond a doubt, one of the best things I've ever eaten.
There is something so romantic about sharing this; it's exactly what I'd cook on a date. It is perfect summer barbecue fodder. Prepare the salsa verde in advance so all you need to do is cook the steak. A few dressed leaves to go alongside the meat is all you need otherwise. And make sure that your T-bone is cut thickly – two fingers thickness at least.
FLORENTINE-STYLE T-BONE STEAK WITH SALSA VERDE
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
1 large T-bone steak, about 750g
salt and pepper
zest and juice of 1 lemon
big handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp capers, roughly chopped
½ shallot, peeled and finely sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, parsley, capers, shallot, red wine vinegar and about four tablespoons of olive oil, so you end up with a rough, chunky sort of sauce. Season to taste, bearing in mind that the capers will have added some saltiness. Take your T-bone out of fridge and bring to room temperature. Rub both sides with olive oil.
Heat a good heavy-based frying pan so it is really hot. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, let it heat up for 20 seconds or so then add meat to the pan. Alternatively, heat your barbecue grill so it is very hot. Fry quickly for about 3 minutes on each side, then stand the steak vertically on the bone end and let it fry for another two minutes or so.
Remove from heat. Season both sides with sea salt and pepper, transfer to a warm plate and let meat rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice meat into thin strips and serve immediately with a generous spoonful of salsa verde over the top.
Sam Mannering is the author of Food Worth Making (poshgiraffepublishing.co.nz)