For meat lovers, a stay in Tuscany means mainly enjoying a nice steak. In fact, this is the name of the legendary Fiorentina in Florence.
Prominent dish of Tuscan cuisine, the Fiorentina is obtained from a specific cut of the Chianina breed calf, the loin, that is, the part in correspondence of the lumbar vertebrae.
In order to be called Fiorentina there are some criteria that this steak must respect and others to follow strictly for its cooking and preparation: let’s discover them together!
How must the Florentine steak be
As we said in the introduction, first of all the cut must be the right one.
Then, there are other characteristics that this must have in order to be classified as Fiorentina: for example, the meat must have been previously matured and kept for at least two weeks in a cold room.
After that, it is necessary to put it under salt crystals, not of any but of Maldon salt, used in the starry kitchen and particular for its fresh flavor and large crisp flakes.
Finally, at the time of cooking, the Fiorentina steak must be at room temperature and dry, with a weight that is around a kilo or a kilo and a half and with a height of about five or six centimeters.
Having fulfilled all these preparation criteria, let’s now move on to cooking Fiorentina.
Instructions for preparing the perfect Fiorentina
The cooking of Fiorentina is not just any cooking: like its preparation, it must follow some fundamental guidelines to obtain an excellent result.
Start by heating the grill on an ember of olive, holm or oak charcoal: in this initial phase, the steak must be placed very close to the coals because it must quickly form a surface crust, so as not to let out the juice.
The moment we put the meat over the grill, we don’t have to add any seasoning: the only thing we will have to do is turn it once, cooking each side for three to five minutes.
Cooked on both sides, we move on to the third stage of cooking which takes place by placing the steak standing on the bone and holding it in this position for five to seven minutes, until the traces of blood disappear.
At the end of cooking, the meat must appear colored externally, red and soft internally.
For a really perfect preparation, add some Maldon pepper before serving the Fiorentina.
The Tuscan tradition wants that, to accompany the famous steak, there are cannellini beans and mixed salad seasoned with extra virgin olive oil.
Tips to enjoy a perfect Fiorentina
Is this your first time in Tuscany and you can’t wait to taste a succulent Fiorentina? Here, then, some advice not to make the most common mistakes for those who are not local and do not know the typical cuisine.
First of all, never ask for a “well-cooked” Fiorentina: in Tuscany, a cooking higher than that by hand is considered a real impiety! Anyone will answer that it is not possible to fulfill your request and you will have to say goodbye to your Fiorentina…
Other essential features of the Tuscan flab are the presence of bone, the weight – never less than a kilogram – and the thickness: under the four fingers, in Tuscany, it is not considered Florentine but carpaccio!
One thing that few people know about the shape of Fiorentina that must follow the contours of a perfect heart, without too much fat around.
The ideal wine to pair with Fiorentina
Impossible to taste a traditional Florentine wine without matching the perfect wine: and what better choice than a strictly Tuscan red wine?
As for wines, in Tuscany the choice is really wide but for a perfect match with Fiorentina are three the best.
Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most beloved Tuscan wines in the world. It is distinguished by its aroma, intense and fruity and its taste, robust and warm.
Chianti Classico, another perfect pairing for Fiorentina because, with its freshness it manages to balance the succulence of the steak, giving the palate an exceptional taste experience, without overwhelming the flavor of the meat, but enhancing it.
Nobile di Montepulciano
It is also a tannic wine like the two previous ones, therefore fresh and ideal as a match to the slight oiliness of Fiorentina.
Like its predecessors, it is able to balance the taste sensations given by the sapidity of the particular Tuscan steak.