One of the best, if not THE best, culinary destinations in the world is Florence, Italy.  I had all sorts of wonderful food there from seafood to pasta to meats.  Perhaps one of the reasons the local cuisine appeals to me so much is because of how ingredient-focused the dishes are.  They keep it simple and use the best ingredients.

Steak and Vinaigrette

Once such dish is Steak Florentine.  Simply, this is porterhouse cut (a.k.a. “T-Bone”) beef cooked in the style of Florence.  Now, technically, it wouldn’t be Steak Florentine if the beef is not from Chianina cows, the huge white cattle raised in the Val di Chiana, near Arezzo, Italy.  I happened to use beautiful 1.5lb porterhouse steaks from BJ’s, but you could order American-raised Chianina beef from the American Chianina Association.

Resting Steak

The steak should be seasoned with salt and pepper and rest comfortably at room temperature before cooking.  In my recipe I added some mashed garlic to remind me of Italy.  There are disagreements about whether or not to marinate in olive oil, or simply drizzle with olive before cooking, or to use after cooking.  Some also use butter.  There are also debates over whether lemon is required.

Lemon is pretty easy, I think a rule of thumb is that acid is needed — so if you’ll be drinking red wine with the beef, skip the lemon.  But in our case, we ate without the vino, so I made a vinaigrette to solve both questions.  I poured over the steak while resting to heat the dressing.

Steak Florentine
~makes two steakhouse portions (the kind you can’t finish)


  • Two 1.5lb Porterhouse (T-Bone) Steaks, at least 1.5″ thick
  • Two Cloves Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • One Lemon


Garlic on Steak 2

1. Smash garlic on a cutting board, then sprinkle with kosher salt.  Press repeated with side of knife blade to create a paste.  Or create a paste with a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle all sides (not just top and bottom) of steaks liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Spread garlic paste on top and bottom.  Cover and rest room temperature for an hour.
2. Meanwhile whisk together juice of one lemon and twice as much extra virgin olive oil.

Sauced with Vinaigrette

3. Grill steaks over high heat to rare, about 4 minutes per side.  Only turn once, do not rotate for cross-marks. While resting steaks (for at least 10 minutes) re-whisk vinaigrette and dress steaks on both sides.

Cooked Rare

posted by Lon at 08:50 AM Filed under Italian, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.