Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine)

By Leslie Blythe  ,   

July 27, 2015

If you are a meat lover, you are going to want to try this traditional Italian grilled steak. Brushing meat with rosemary imparts an herbal fragrance to this Italian steak, which is traditionally served with Cannellini Beans with Rosemary and lemon.

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yields: One large Porterhouse steak, enough for 4-6


Preparing steak for grilling

1Place the steak on a rack or—if you don't have a rack—you can prop it up with two chopsticks, over a plate to catch any blood that may drip out. This will allow air to circulate around the steak, top and bottom, so it dries evenly. Even so, turn the steak every so often to ensure even drying on the outside and circulation of the blood inside the steak. If you air dry your steak for more than a few hours, cover it loosely with a towel to prevent the meat from drying out too much. Make sure that the meat is room temperature before you cook it.


1Get the grill nice and hot. Wood is the fuel of choice here—oak is traditional—or charcoal. If you must, a gas grill will do, although the final product will lack the characteristic smokey flavor of a true fiorentina. If you have a smoker box, pre-soaked chips of oak or another a mild wood will add character to your dish.

2Place the steak on the grill. If your meat is cut thick as it should be, lower the heat a bit, to 'medium-high', and grill it for five to ten minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steak (See notes below). If you like cross-hatched grill marks, place the steak across the grates diagonally, starting at 'ten o'clock'. Then, halfway through the cooking time for this side, turn the steak to 'two o’clock'.

3When you turn the steak over to cook on its other side, then season the steak liberally with salt as the steak cooks on the other side, repeating the two and ten o'clock positions if you like. Turn the steak over and season it again on its just-cooked side. Finally, for a 3-inch steak, you can and should grill the steak on its flank for another five minutes or so, using the bone to prop the steak up. This will drive the blood away from the bone for more even cooking.

4The total grilling time for a 3-inch steak fiorentina will be about 25 minutes (see Notes below for details on cooking times and testing for doneness.


1After your steak is done, remove it from the grill and let it 'rest' for about ten minutes. Use a rack or chopsticks, just as you did for the air-drying, to ensure circulation all around the steak; this avoids the crust getting soggy underneath.

Carving and Serving

1A Florentine steak is too big to serve individually. It is typically carved up, first by removing the filet and then the contrefilet from the T-bone, then each against the grain. Each diner helps themselves to as much steak as they want. In Italy they serve the meat with lemon wedges.


One Porterhouse steak, cut at least 1-1/2 inches thick


Olive oil (optional)


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