While Tuscany is perhaps best known for its steak Fiorentina, many food lovers are turned-off by the sheer size of the steak. The Fiorentina can easily feed two people and often four.
Personally, I prefer the flavorful contra fillet during the summer and the delicious peposo alla fiorentina in the winter – this Tuscan beef stew recipe was previously featured on this website.
During a recent visit to Tuscany, some good friends treated us to a home-cooked Tuscan contra fillet that will now become my go-to recipe when entertaining people for grilled food.
While US beef cuts differ slightly from Italian cuts, the contra fillet is equivalent to a prime strip or sirloin steak. Like all cuts, the quality of the meat makes all the difference in creating a tasty entree.
While you may not have the benefit of cooking over olive wood, do use quality extra virgin olive oil and experiment on perfecting the balance between the rosemary, garlic, and salt. This is a flavorful dish that will bring back memories of Tuscany. Serve with a salad.
Contra Fillet Steak alla Toscana
- 1 1/2 pound Prime Sirloin or Strip Steak well marbled
- 1 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 4 sprigs rosemary fresh
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 3 sprigs parsley optional
- Finely cut and mix garlic and rosemary with salt. Experiment to get the desired taste. We have found that it is best to prepare the mixture about an hour before grilling the mean to allow the flavors to fuse.
- Cut sirloin into 3 large pieces so that grain is easily distinguishable.
- Grill sirloin over hot coals turning two or three times to insure that all sides are browned. Brush olive oil onto each side of the meat with a spring of fresh rosemary. Depending on the heat of the fire, the meat will be medium rare between 5 and 7 minutes of total cooking.
- Remove meat from the grill and slice across the grain to create strips about 3/8" in diameter.
- Place strips in a heated serving utensil and generously sprinkle rosemary, garlic and salt mixture over sliced strips. Douse with a generous amount of olive oil. Repeat.
- Serve within 5 minutes after removing from grill. Meat has a great flavor when eaten warm.