Imported from Italy: Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Story and photography by June Naylor
The quintessential steak of Tuscany and Florence, this will be a specialty at Emelia’s, soon to open at The Crescent Hotel, Fort Worth. Chef Preston Paine walked me through the foolproof basics of preparing the slab to perfection.
“The keys are choosing the best quality porterhouse you can find; prime or dry-aged is always a winner,” Paine says. “Get it cut to about 3 pounds and bring the steak to room temperature before cooking, to ensure a more even cook. Season with salt, and only salt — no pepper, no oil, just salt. Grill at very high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, turning only once. It should be charred on the outside and very pink inside. Allow the meat to rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow juices to distribute themselves.”
Central Market’s and Tom Thumb’s meat departments always stock the loin from which a porterhouse is taken, and the steak can be cut to your specs. We grilled sweet yellow onions, Roma tomatoes and zucchini, sliced lengthwise, alongside the steak, and served it with roasted yellow potatoes and a butter lettuce salad with simple oil and vinegar on the side. A 3-pound porterhouse makes about 6 to 8 servings.