T-bone Fiorentina is an Italian classic- a thick-cut t-bone seasoned aggressively with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and grilled over charcoal. The traditional dish calls for a massive steak- 2 1/2″-3″ thick. It makes for an incredible meal, but it’s not the most practical choice for the average weekend cookout.
To prepare the steaks, make a paste of minced garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil. A mortar and pestle is great for this step. Smear both sides of the steak with the paste and allow to sit at room temp while you heat the grill.
Once the grill is RIPPING hot, place the steak on the grate and cook for 2 minutes. Without flipping, rotate the steak 90 degrees and cook 1 minute more. This will create a classic cross-hatched pattern of grill marks. It’s pretty, but not totally necessary. Flip the steak and repeat the cross-hatching process. Reduce the heat, or move to the cooler side of the charcoal grill and finish cooking over medium heat. Watch the temperature closely, for a big steak, you will want to take it off at 120-125 degrees for medium rare.
Wait 10 minutes before carving, after loosely covering the steaks with foil. This will allow the meat to finish cooking, and for the juices in the steak to re-distribute. If you carve too soon, you will lose lots of juices on the cutting board. When you carve, remove the filet and NY strip sides from the t-bone and make sure your guests get some of each. Pour any juices from the cutting board over the meat after carving.
I served it with spinach sauteed with garlic and lemon juice, which is the perfect foil to grilled steak. We also had skillet new potatoes, a classic recipe from an old Lee Bailey cookbook. Scrub some similarly sized new potatoes and peel a wide strip around the center. Melt a stick of unsalted butter in a large skillet and add about 4 tablespoons of water. Place the potatoes in the skillet in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and heat over medium heat. Once the liquid is sizzling, cover the skillet and reduce heat to low.
Shake the pan occasionally to ‘stir’, and remove the lid after about 10 minutes through cooking to turn the potatoes over. They should take about 20 minutes to cook- you’ll know it’s done when you can pierce the potatoes easily with a knife. Garnish with chopped fresh chives or parsley.