One of Florence’s signature dishes, this simple steak recipe perfectly combines classic Tuscan flavours
Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube
Florentine steak with polenta chips and balsamic tomatoes
- 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 200g instant polenta
- 100g Parmesan/Grana Padano, finely grated
- small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- olive oil, to drizzle
- 1 tbsp steak and chops spice
- 1 tbsp chicken spice
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped and
- stems discarded + extra, to garnish
- 2 x 1 – 1,2kg thick-cut T-bone steaks
- 50g butter, halved
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 200g tomatoes on the vine
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
For the polenta chips, grease a 19cm square baking tray and line with baking paper.
In a medium, lidded pot over high heat, bring the chicken stock to the boil, covered. While stirring continuously, add all the instant polenta to the stock. Lower the heat and cook, still stirring, until completely cooked, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan/ Grana Padano and parsley. Season well.
Spread the polenta in the prepared baking tray, press it into an even layer and smooth out the top with a spatula. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, slice the polenta into 10 x 2cm strips and place, separated, onto another greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven until all sides are golden brown, about 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
For the steak, combine all the spices. Season the steaks with the spices and rosemary. Set aside at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Heat a griddle pan over high heat. Cook each steak until done to your liking, turning once. Remove from heat and place on a serving plate/ board. Top immediately with the halved butter so it melts over the steaks, and squeeze the lemon wedges over. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
For the Balsamic tomatoes, turn on the oven grill to a medium-high setting. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with the Balsamic vinegar and grill for 10 minutes. Serve the steaks with the polenta chips and tomatoes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.