Friday, March 29, 2013

Agnello al Fiorentino

Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a standard of Florentine cooking. Traditionally, the steak is a t-bone or porterhouse steak from either the Chianina or Maremma breed of cattle.  Most recipes call for each steak to be at least two pounds. Those recipes also call for a rub consisting of black pepper, salt, rosemary and thyme. 

At least for me, it is perhaps the best way to grill a porterhouse steak.  It can also be the best way to grill any meat.  I put that to the test recently when I bought some lamb t-bones.  These t-bones were miniature in size, weighing about 1/3 of pound or more.

Although the lamb t-bones were good enough on their own, I decided to make a simple mushroom sauce.  The reason for the sauce is that I wanted to incorporate mushrooms into the dish.  I suppose I could have just sauteed the mushrooms and then topped the t-bones with them. However, I wanted to try my hand at a basic sauce.  A very basic sauce ... stock, butter, garlic, oregano and, of course mushrooms. I think it worked out well for something to do on a whim.

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2

Ingredients (for the lamb):
4 lamb steaks
1 tablespoon of rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of ground pepper
1/4 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 tablespoon of dried oregano
1/2 cup of olive oil
Ingredients (for the sauce)
8 ounces of portabello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tablespoon of dried oregano
3 tablespoons of butter
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/4 cup beef stock
Salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste

1.  Marinate the lamb steaks.  Combine the rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, salt, ground pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano and oil in a bowl or a zip lock bag.  Mix the ingredients.  Add the lamb steaks and make sure all of the steaks are covered with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for about one-half hour.

2.  Grill the lamb steaks.  Heat a grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit).  Clean and oil the grates.  Add the lamb steaks.  Cook for about four minutes, turn ninety degrees.  Cook for four minutes more.  Flip and cook for four minutes.  Turn ninety degrees and cook for four minutes.  Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.

3.  Make the sauce.  Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and saute for about six to eight minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture.  Stir or shake the pan occasionally to prevent the mushrooms from burning.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the beef stock and 1 tablespoon of butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  After the butter has melted, add another tablespoon of butter.  Stir until the butter is melted and add the final tablespoon of butter.  Once it has melted, remove from heat.

4.  Plate the dish.  Place 2 lamb steaks on the plate.  Spoon some of the mushrooms over the steaks and then some of the sauce around the steaks.

Although the sauce worked well, I don't know that I would use it every time I make these lamb t-bones.  If I do use it again, I may try improving the sauce.  One way would be to  sear the lamb t-bones in the skillet before adding the mushrooms, and then using the stock to deglaze the pan.  The lamb t-bones could be finished under the broiler. This is the great thing about cooking, there are always way to improve what you make. 


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