BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA (Tuscan grilled porterhouse steaks, for 10 as part of a buffet)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Beef, grilled steak, bistecca alla Fiorentina 2

six 1-1/2 pound porterhouse steaks (each about 1-1/2 inches thick)

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary

12 cups loosely packed arugula (about 8 ounces)

one 4 ounce piece of Parmesan cheese

lemon wedges

  1. Take the steak out of refrigerator thirty minutes before grilling so that it can return to room temperature.
  1. Prepare the grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on the bottom of the grill, then light the charcoal.  When the charcoal turns grayish white (about 15 minutes after lighting), hold your hand 5 inches above the rack.  The fire is medium-hot if you can keep your hand there just 3 to 4 seconds. If you are using a gas grill, pre-heat the burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate.
  1. Grill steaks on a lightly oiled grill rack over glowing coals, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into meat (do not touch bone) registers about 120* for medium-rare, about 8 minutes per side. After you turn the steaks, using the rosemary sprigs as a brush, brush the grilled side of the steaks with half of the oil and season them with salt and pepper. Brush the other side of the steaks with the remaining oil, again using the rosemary brush, at the end of the grilling.
  1. If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, steaks can be grilled in a hot, lightly oiled, ridged grill pan over moderately high heat, turning once, for about the same time period.
  1. Transfer steaks to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steaks diagonally on a slight angle across the grain into ¼ inch slices.  Arrange arugula on a platter, top with steak slices and pour any accumulated juices over the meat.  Sprinkle with salt and drizzle oil over steaks.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan into strips over steaks and serve with lemon wedges.

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