Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Watercress and Pistachio Salad
A final slick of anchovy oil is the key to this Tuscan steak’s extra savory bite
Modeled after the famed Tuscan porterhouse, which in Italy is most often served in hefty cuts intended for sharing, this slightly more petite version from cookbook author Stacy Adimando quickly comes together for dinner at home. The simple, umami-packed seasonings are slicked on using a pastry brush at the end of cooking. If possible, select a quality steak with some age on it for this recipe.
Featured in: "Italy’s Most Delicious Steak, on a Weeknight at Home."
For the steak:
- 1 bone-in porterhouse steak (1¼ lb.)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped, plus ½ tsp. oil from the jar
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, grated (1¼ tsp.)
- 1 tsp. very finely chopped fresh rosemary
For the salad:
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped shallot (from ½ shallot)
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups loosely packed watercress (2½ oz.)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. raw or roasted, unsalted pistachios
- Parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Dry the steak with paper towels if needed. Season all over with salt and black pepper, ensuring that it thoroughly sticks to the meat. Set aside to come to room temperature, at least 20 minutes.
To a medium bowl, add the anchovies and their oil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Stir well to combine.
Prepare the salad dressing: To a large bowl, add the shallot, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Stir briefly and set aside.
Set a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium heat. Brush the steak with a little oil from the anchovy mixture (avoid any solids at this point). Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and turn up the heat to medium-high. When the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the steak and cook, pressing down on the bone with tongs as needed to help the steak remain in contact with the skillet, until a very dark crust forms on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Flip the steak and cook until the remaining side is deeply browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the steak to press its fatty sides up against the skillet until browned, about 1 minute more.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board and immediately brush all over with the remaining anchovy mixture. Set aside to rest for 6–8 minutes.
Make the salad: In the bowl with the shallot mixture, whisk in the olive oil. Add the watercress and a pinch of salt and black pepper; toss gently to coat.
Using a chef’s knife, cut the meat away from the bone and into two pieces by following the lines of the center bone. (Reserve the bone.) Starting from one end, slice each piece of meat about ½ inch thick against the grain, keeping it in the shape of the original steak.
Transfer the salad to one side of a large serving platter. Add the steak bone to the other side of the platter and nestle the two halves of meat back into the bone, overlapping slightly with the salad. Drizzle the meat with juices from the cutting board, and top the salad with the pistachios and parsley leaves (if using); serve immediately.