In Italy, steak is usually sliced into strips – bistecca tagliata (tagliata meaning ‘cut’), which I think looks much more appealing than a big slab of meat on the plate. It’s often served with a salad of rocket and shaved parmesan, but any salad works well, some recipes marinate it while others don’t, and any cut of steak can be used … it’s quick and versatile. The key tricks are allowing the meat to come to room temperature and getting your pan or grill good and hot before cooking it, then setting it aside to rest after it’s been cooked, to allow the fibres to relax and the juices to spread evenly throughout, ensuring that it’s tender and juicy – the rest is up to you. I’ve added one of my favourite condiments, salsa verde, but you could just as easily serve it with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a lemon wedge. Salsa verde is a great sauce to have in your repertoire, it’s delicious drizzled over just about everything – prawns, poultry and vegetables as well as steak. So next time you fire up the barbie, think Italian! I love a glass of Payten & Jones V V Sangiovese with this (especially if it’s been in the fridge for 30 minutes or so) – juicy enough to handle the steak, herbal enough for the salsa verde … perfetto!
- 4 x 250g sirloin steaks
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Salt flakes, to taste
- Salad, for serving
- Crusty bread, for serving
- 2 firmly packed cups parsley leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers in brine, rinsed
- 7 anchovy fillets in olive oil (see note)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Note: A small tin of Ortiz anchovy fillets (47.5g) is the perfect quantity for the Salsa Verde recipe.
- Remove steaks from the fridge 30 minutes or so before cooking, to bring them to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make Salsa Verde: combine all Ingredients in a food processor. Set aside.
- Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan.
- Drizzle steaks well with oil, rubbing it all over both sides. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt.
- Cook steaks for about 3 minutes each side for medium-rare, or to your liking.
- Place steaks on a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut steaks on the diagonal, against the grain, into slices about 1cm thick.
- Arrange on plates, drizzle with a little Salsa Verde and serve with salad, bread and extra Salsa Verde on the side.