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November 10, 2011


Last week, we had a 1 full day just on meat alone. The butcher brought half a cow and half a pig, and they were huge! He literally butchered the carcasses before our eyes.
It was a treat for me as I’ve been thinking of Bistecca alla Fiorentina since I saw it on an episode of Jamie Oliver’s road trip to Italy. Usually, you can only technically call it Bistecca alla Fiorentina if the beef comes from the Chianina valley, and Chianina beef is supposed to be the best(supposedly in the world) and the most expensive. But alla Fiorentina style of cooking is just grilling the meat on high heat, then sprinkle coarse salt and drizzle olive oil on the meat just before serving.

Seared outside, rare inside

So what is the big deal with Bistecca alla Fiorentina? First of all, it’s a T-bone steak cut of very good beef, and it has to be at least 5cm thick! Each piece weighs a minimum of 750gm. The ones we had in school weighed almost 3kg for 2 pieces. That’s about 1.5 kg per steak! The best part is, the outside is seared brown, but the inside is totally rare. Here, the way to eat is to go rare, not even medium rare. I’ve eaten more raw beef in these 6 weeks than I’ve eaten in the last 6 years! 


After lunch, we made fresh sausages. The maceleria taught us how to season the pork and make the sausage. The quality of the pork is superb, and can be eaten raw. Yes, raw! I didn’t believe it when he first told us we could eat the sausage raw, so he took a piece and fed me with it. Yikes! It’s the first time I’ve eaten raw pork, and it actually taste pretty good with the spices.
The only reason we could eat it raw when it’s fresh is because, the pig belongs to him, and he had raised it on a farm he knows, and he decides what to feed the pigs and knows the health record of all his animals. If we buy from the market , we can’t eat the pork raw, because we don’t know where it comes from and how healthy it is.
Well, other than learning about meats and the various cuts, the thing I’m most proud of, is that I filled and tied the entire string of salsiccia that you see here, all by myself. I made sausages! I brought some back to my apartment, cooked them for dinner. It was the best sausage I ever ate. Buonissimo!

From → Culinary Journal

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