“Bistecca alla Fiorentina is the king of all Italian steaks. It’s essentially a fat T-bone or porterhouse steak, which is normally cooked quite blue. It’s delicious, but I prefer it cooked medium-rare. I think it’s important to cook one big steak, which means you can look after it better and build up more flavour and colour on the outside, leaving you with the most delicious, blushing, juicy inside. Traditionally, Fiorentina steak is cooked over hot coals, but I’ve written this to be cooked in a pan so it’s more accessible. With crispy potatoes and salsa verde to complement it, this is an amazing treat-night dinner for four lucky people. ”
Get your steak up to room temperature before you cook it. Wash the potatoes and cut into 3cm chunks. Parboil in a pan of boiling salted water with the whole unpeeled garlic cloves for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the fat on the steak to 1cm thick and put the steak aside. Finely chop the fat offcuts, place in a large cold frying pan and put on a medium-high heat to render the fat. Once sizzling, drain and add the potatoes and garlic. Cook for 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp, stirring occasionally. Strip in the rosemary leaves for the last 2 minutes, then leave on the lowest heat.
Meanwhile, put a separate cold, non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat and use tongs to hold the steak fat edge down for 6 minutes to render the fat and get it dark golden. Turn on to the bone edge for another 6 minutes to heat the bone. Now, gently turn the steak on to one of its flat sides. Cook for 6 minutes on each flat side (or 8 minutes for medium-rare). Remove to a board, cover, and rest, pouring pan juices over the potatoes.
Pick the mint, parsley and basil leaves into a food processor. Pulse, then add the rest of the salsa verde ingredients with 8 tablespoons of oil. Blitz to your desired consistency, then taste and season to perfection.
I like to carve and season the steak at the table, serving it with the crispy spuds and salsa verde alongside. Squeeze the sweet garlic out of its skins and enjoy.