A seriously carnivorous cut which incorporates sirloin (fillet) and the bones between (incidentally containing spinal cord for BSE buffs). The definitive Bistecca alla Fiorentina is served at a trattoria in Florence called La Sostanza (or La Troia). Book a table and then be prepared for a long wait: the elderly irascible waiters will seat and serve every Italian in sight before they deign to recognise a tourist. Alternatively, turn up with a stunningly beautiful woman who speaks perfect Italian, and you will have a completely different experience. The loos at La Sostanza are only accessible by way of the kitchens. Discovering a weak bladder condition, several trips to the washroom became necessary before I had answered all my questions on the cooking methods used. Here are the results of that research.
The T-bones were at least 2 cm thick and often much more. They were seasoned just before grilling and brushed with a little oil then cooked over a very high heat (on a flimsy wire cake rack perched over an inferno). They were given about 8 minutes a side for the required ‘rare’ status and served with a lemon wedge – nothing else restrained carnality. Which brings me back to the above mentioned lady. She was scandalised when I tore into my steak bone using hand and fangs, and pointed out all the beautifully clad people in the room around me hacking away with knife and fork.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.