This Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine Steak) adapts a traditional Italian recipe for the gas grill. A delicious and easy steak recipe! We paired our Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino. Full Disclusure: the main ingredients for the recipe and the wine pairing were provided by Il Poggione and Terlato Wines.
Would I be interested in trying a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina recipe? Well, when I got a package complete with grilling tools, Tuscan sea salt, red wine and olive from Il Poggione, it didn’t take much convincing!
As I read the Bistecca alla Fiorentina recipe that came with the package, I realized I would have to do some adjustments first, as I use a gas grill. More on that in a moment; first let’s cover some basics about Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
What is Bistecca alla Fiorentina?
Bistecca alla Fiorentina translates in English to Florentine steak. Although we know it as a classic Italian recipe, the history of the Bistecca alla Fiorentina dish starts with a rise in people from England settling around Florence in the 19th century. They brought with them new cuts of beef, including the porterhouse cut that is used for Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
The porterhouse cut has the large “T bone” with one side being the portion used for a NY strip steak, and the smaller piece is the filet. Yes, porterhouse is a cost effective way of getting some of the meat we enjoy with filet mignon!
Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a simple preparation using just a few ingredients. The porterhouse is prepared with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, and grilled fairly briefly over high heat, potentially finished over indirect heat as I did. Rosemary sprigs and lemon are also typical ingredients in the preparation of Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
Making Bistecca alla Fiorentina on a Gas Grill
Bistecca all Fiorentina is traditionally prepared over charcoal, with the steak close to the coals to seal the juices in by quickly getting a dark crust on both sides of the steak, leaving the insides a reddish pink.
Alas, we have a basic gas grill here so we needed to adapt the Bistecca all Fiorentina for our grill. We aim to duplicate the process of starting the steak on direct heat for the first 6 minutes, then moving it to the back of the grill to cook over indirect heat.
To use the combination of direct and indirect heat using a three burner gas grill, start the grill and preheat it with the front two nobs set to medium high heat, and leave the back burner off. This sets you up to grill on direct heat near the front of the grill, and indirect heat near the back.
With the oil on the steak, not to mention fat content, you may start to get some flare ups when cooking on direct heat with the grill covered. Stay close to the grill to keep an eye on this, as you don’t want the flareups to get out of control. If you start seeing flames, carefully open the grill cover (with a grill glove on) to let some oxygen in to reduce the flames. Continue to to the direct heat cooking with the grill open of the flareups seem to be significant.
Wine with Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Of course, a big red wine from Tuscany is the natural pairing for Bistecca alla Fiorentina. We opened the 2016 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino ($27, 14%) to pair with the steak. Brick red in the glass, with a fresh nose. This Rosso di Montalcino is jammy and fruit forward on the palate, a lush flavor profile that makes it a great match for the delicious grilled meat. An excellent pairing!
Tenuta Il Poggione also produces very well-regarded Brunello, which of course is at a higher price point. Perhaps save trying that for the more complex fall and winter dishes. The younger Sangiovese grapes that comprise the Rosso di Montalcino are perfect for the Bistecca alla Fiorentina!
Tenuta Il Poggione is located in Sant’Angelo, about 10 miles south of the hill town of Montalcino. Its vineyards range from 495 feet to 1475 feet above sea level, and benefit from the proximity to Mount Amiata and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Montalcino is certainly most well known for its red wine made from Sangiovese grapes. Both Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello must be 100% Sangiovese; unlike a Chianti which requires only 85% Sangiovese. Learning more about the region on this page, I see there is also a white Montalcino made from Muscat blanc. Looks like a great wine region to visit!
For another hearty meal from this region, try our Tuscan Beef Stew!Print
Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine Steak)
A traditional recipe for Bistecca all Fiorentina (Florentine Steak) adapted for a gas grill. A simple and delicious grilled steak recipe! Adaptation based on recipe provided by Il Poggione.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 3 servings 1x
- Category: main
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 bone-in porterhouse steak, appx. 22 ozs and about 1 ¼ inch thick.
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Tuscan sea salt (Amazon link for the kind I used, more info in notes)
- 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
- lemon wedges for serving
- Bring the porterhouse steak to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to preparing the Bistecca all Fiorentina.
- Pat the steak dry with a paper towel. Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top of the steak, the sprinkle half of the sea salt over the first side of the steak. Let the steak sit for 5 minutes to absorb the oil and salt, then flip the steak over to repeat the process–spreading the remaining olive oil and salt over the second side of the steak.
- Let the steak sit for about 10 minutes after coating it with the oil and salt. Preheat the grill to medium high during this time. Leave one back burner off, so that you have a place to grill using indirect heat.
- Place the steak on the grill, near the front, to begin grilling with direct heat. Cover the grill, and grill for about 3 minutes, then flip the steak to grill the other side on direct heat for another 3 minutes. Watch the steak closely; if you see flareups starting, open the cover to reduce the flaming.
- After 6 minutes of grilling on direct heat, move the steak to the rear of the grill to continue cooking on indirect heat, with the grill covered. If you are using the optional rosemary sprigs, use them to brush some additional olive oil on top of the steak.
- Grill on indirect heat for 6 to 12 more minutes, depending on how hot your grills is and how you like your steak cook. Check for doneness after 6 minutes of indirect cooking, to avoid overcooking, but you may need more in the 10 to 12 minute range.
- When you have grilled the steak to your liking, remove the steak to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain, into strips of steak for serving. Serve with lemon wedges and a good bottle of Tuscan wine, such as Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino. Enjoy!
- I used the AG Ferrari Tuscan Sea Salt blend, which has rosemary, garlic, sage and ground pepper. You could either use a similar Tuscan sea salt blend, or use regular plain sea salt along with about a teaspoon of dried rosemary and half teaspoon of garlic powder.
Keywords: grilled steak, Tuscan recipes, Italian steak recipes, Sangiovese pairings