Dear Friends and Eaters,
Tuscany is famous for wine, cheese and cows! Yes, you read it right, Tuscany has some of the best cows in the world second only to Argentina. The “Chianina” is usually a beautiful white cow that gets pampered a lot and lives in the beautiful scenery of this gorgeous region: the best grass and free roaming make the Chianina lean but tasty, meaty but refined. The “Bistecca Fiorentina” that lands on your plate is grilled to perfection and usually paired with some seasonal vegetables. As mushrooms are in season I decided to showcase a steak “Tagliata Style” for my Danish Dinner a couple of weeks ago. The steak was grilled medium rare and then sliced against the grain and served on a bed of arugula and dressed with a mushroom ragout. I used a different cut of meat because you can’t really find Chianina meat in NYC. I decided that one of the most humble yet tasty cuts of meat, the skirt steak, would be perfect for this type of dish. Admittedly, you wouldn’t find a skirt steak in Tuscany, but the opposite is also true: the rustic gamey flavor of the humble skirt steak cannot be tasted across the pond. The butchering techniques differ greatly and I would love to taste a Chianina skirt steak too!
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 2 cups of arugula
- 8 oz of mixed mushrooms (possibly White, Portobello and Shitake), chopped
- 1 lb skirt steak, cut in 4 pieces
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 cloves of garlic, pealed
- Kosher Salt
- Black ground pepper
- 2 tbsp of canola oil
- Extravirgin olive oil to finish
For the Mushroom Saute’:
Place 1 clove of garlic and the canola oil in a pan over medium heat. brown the garlic on all sides, paying attention not to burn it or the oil will become bitter. Discard the garlic and add the onion. Sprinkle the onion with salt to bring out its moisture and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Lower the heat and sprinkle the mushrooms with a little more salt. When the mushrooms start to look moist, raise the heat to medium and cook for 3 more minutes. The final product should be fairly moist.
For the Steak:
Preheat a cast iron skillet or the grill and Season the skirt steak with aboundant salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the skirt steak on both sides, paying attention not to overcook it (about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare depending on the thickness of the steak). Skirt steak is usually pretty thin but has a nice marbled texture so it will cook fairly quickly even without additional fat. remove the steak from the heat and let it rest while you start plating.
Plating the Tagliata:
Place 1/2 cup of arugula on each dish. Cut the Skirt steak against the grain (if the fibers of the meat are horizontal, you need to place your knife vertically and cut at a 45 degree angle… yeah I know, it sounds difficult but after the first time you do that, it won’t be!). Place the steak on the arugula and garnish with the mushrooms. Finish with some cracked pepper and EVOO.