Bistecca alla Fiorentina Recipe (Florentine Steak)

  • by Nonna Box January 20, 2019
  • |
  • Last Updated on August 21, 2020
Tasty Florentine Steak - Bistecca alla fiorentina recipe

I have been to Tuscany several times during my childhood. However, I don’t remember much about those trips, but each time I’m Florence I remember a particular meal I had with my parents. Because it was an outstanding piece of meat – rich, tasty with meat so tender that you could cut it with a spoon! So when you go to Florence, take care to choose a reputable restaurant because there are plenty of fakes out there.


Florentine steak ready for grill

The secret of the meat lies in the breed of cattle – the Chianina cattle – they are the huge white oxen that are raised near Arezzo in the Valdichiana. The steaks are huge and because of the size of the animal, a steak can easily way 2 ½ kg. Of course, if you don’t live in Florence and can’t get hold of this breed, go to your local butcher and choose the best meat they have – enjoy!

Tasty Florentine Steak - Bistecca alla fiorentina recipe

Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Recipe (Florentine Steak)

Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine) is probably the most famous Italian meat recipe.
5 from 6 votes
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Course: Secondi
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 754kcal
Author: Nonna Box


  • 4 Very thick steaks porterhouse of T-bone & look for a steak that’s just under a kg and cut about 4 cm thick
  • Top quality sea salt – like Fleur de Sel de Guérande
  • Searing hot coals made from a hard wood
  • Freshly cracked pepper



  • Make sure the coals are quite hot – you should not be able to hold your hand over the coals for more than about 4 seconds; put the grill about 10cm over the coals and let it heat up.


  • If the steak comes right out of the fridge, it will cook a little longer than something that is, already, at room temperature – I like meat cooked from room temperature. For the perfect steak florentine, leave the steak at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior cooking it.


  • Pop the steak onto the grill so that it can sear & then lift the grill but don’t move the steak; it can only be flipped once it comes off the grill easily – flip it off & onto a plate and salt liberally (you’re salting the seared side so that the salt can’t draw out the excess moisture) and then pop the other side onto the grill.
  • Continue in this fashion: a few minutes on, flip, lightly pepper, salt, flip and so on – you know the drill.
  • It’s very important that the heat remains constant so fan the coals back to life if the look as if they’re going to die (which they shouldn’t if you’ve made a decent fire).
  • It should cook in a few minutes & when the steak is done it should still be rare – but it’s all a matter of taste.


Slice it with the best kitchen knife you have. Serve a with a little pat of butter or olive oil and with a lemon wedge & a tossed green salad, a dish of simply boiled cannellini beans and served with olive oil, salt and pepper and good Chianti Classico Riserva or a Brunello.
Calories: 754kcal | Protein: 70g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 1050mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 6.8mg
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To check whether meat is ready, use your fingers to prod the meat: when rare, it will feel soft and squishy; medium-rare should be only lightly bouncy and well done will feel much firmer (you should not cook a Fiorentina to this stage) – someone told me the following once and whilst I don’t bother with it much, it may help you:

  • Press gently near the base of the thumb (the fleshy bit called the mound of Venus) with the index finger of the other hand – that’s what rare meat feels like.
  • Press in the center of the palm: medium.
  • Press at the outside edge of the hand at the pinkie knuckle: well done.

Other Italian meat recipes:


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