Tagliata in the Wood-Fired Oven
La Regina della Bistecca - Nothing better than the Florentine "Queen of Steaks" which is grilled inside the wood-fired oven over hot coals, and then transformed into a delicious Tagliata. Topped with shavings of an excellent Parmigiano Reggiano, and laid across a bed of fresh arugula, it is then served with a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of black pepper. Undoubtedly Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a true symbol of Florentine cuisine and has become famous and a noble dish throughout fine dining across the entire globe.
- Fontana Marinara wood-fired Oven
- Hard wood (oak, cherry, maple, hickory, etc.)
- Forno Toscano Stainless Grill
- Vegetable peeler
- 1 T- bone steak that is 6 centimeters in thickness, weighing 1 - 1.5 Kilograms
- Coarse Sea Salt to taste
- 1 Lemon (totally optional as it is not traditionally used)
- Fresh baby Arugula - onto which the Tagliata will be placed
- Olive Oil - good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan Cheese (enough to shave over the Tagliata)
- Several hours before heating the oven, take the steak out of the refrigerator as this process allows the very thick meat to reach room temperature. Pat the steak dry with a thick paper towel.
- Fire up a roaring fire inside the wood-fired oven and let it burn long enough for hot coals to be created. You can also place a generous mound of charcoal into the oven and allow it to burn until the coals turn slightly white. It is important to know that there should not be an active fire present when placing the T-bones on the grill inside the oven.
- With the help of a turning peel, evenly spread the hot coals across the oven floor, as shown in the video. Rest the Forno Toscano Stainless Grill directly over the hot coals, allowing it to heat up. As the oven and the stainless steal grill are heating up, prep the steak.
- Dry the steak once again with a paper towel. Lightly rub a very small film of olive oil on each steak. Generously salt the steak on each side with salt and pepper as well as coarse sea salt. Lightly pat the salt into the surface of the T-bone. Traditionally some choose to salt the steak only when finished grilling.
- With heavy oven mitts, pull the grill out of the oven and carefully set the steak on the hot grill. Slide the grill and steak back into the oven, over the hot coals. Pay close attention to the coals as active flames directly on the steaks will ruin the flavor of the meat. When grilled inside the wood-fired oven, make sure not to overcook the steak, considering that the heat is radiating from both above and below.
- After about 4 minutes and with the help of heavy oven mitts take the grill out of the oven. With tongs slightly pull up the steak making sure not to force it if it is sticking to the grill. Slightly rotate the steak still on the same side so as to form crossed grill marks. Allow the meat to grill another 3 minutes before flipping to the others side. Once again, place the steak over the hot coals and do the same process as above.
- After another 4 minutes are up, the T-bones are ready for yet another step.
- Traditionally the steak is then turned up onto the "marciapiede" - the "sidewalk", which is the T-bone side down on the grill. Using this method allows heat to penetrate through the bone to the center of the steak which is usually the most challenging area for heat to reach.
- Take the steak off the grill and allow it to rest covered for just a few minutes before slicing.
- When making TAGLIATA, allow the covered steak to rest for 3-4 minutes before slicing. Right before serving carve the meat away from the bone and slice it diagonally with a sharp knife into 1cm thick slices.
- With the help of a knife, pick up all the slices and arrange them over a bed of fresh arugula and sprinkle once again with coarse sea salt.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slivers of Parmigiano Reggiano over the slices of the Tagliata.
- Drizzle the meet with good quality extra virgin olive oil. Although not a traditional custom, some squeeze fresh lemon juice over the meat as it brings the Tagliata to a whole new level!
- Serve the Tagliata immediately with a side of your choosing. The classic Tuscan sides for Tagliata or Bistecca alla Fiorentina are Fagioli all’Uccelletto, roasted or fried potatoes and a salad. Enjoy!
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