As the last days of (enjoyable) barbecuing have arrived, I’ll share with you the perfect quick, simple and delicious dish for any occasion. While our favourite is the grand-daddy of Italian steaks, bistecca fiorentina, beef sirloin or rib eye are easier to source and tagliata easier to cook perfectly. The name “tagliata” literally means “slices” but when you see it on a menu, it will be all you think about. The idea is simple, grilled steak which is sliced and served with rocket and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
The genius of tagliata is that you don’t feel obligated to eat an entire steak, just take as many slices as you desire. Additionally, I assume I am not the only person who finds it difficult to menu plan for a family and whenever I assume there will be a fixed number there are always more. If you were making individual steaks, this might be an issue but with tagliata, I slice the steak on a large wooden board, strew the rocket over top and shave on the cheese and serve. The portioning sorts itself out. The peppery rocket counters the fat in the meat and adds freshness to the dish (one could also delude oneself that this is a type of “salad”).
Tagliata di manzo (steak with rocket and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings)
The key to a good tagliata is bringing the steaks to room temperature before cooking them. The grill or pan must be very hot to get a good crust on the outside while ensuring the meat is rare on the inside. For step-by-step illustrated instructions, click here.
4 sirloin or rib eye steaks, room temperature, rinsed and dried
140 grams rocket, rinsed and dried
12 cherry tomatoes, rinsed, dried and cut in half
75 grams Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, shaved using a vegetable peeler
Extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper, freshly ground
Heat the barbecue, grill pan or frying pan until it is very hot. Meanwhile, rub the steaks with salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. Place the steaks in the pan, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Turn after 3 to 4 minutes and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steak and how rare you like your meat –you can use a thermometer and check the guidelines here to get the desired doneness).
Place the steaks on a board to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steaks against the grain, between 0.5 to 1 cm thick depending on your preference. Toss the rocket and tomatoes over top. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Shave the cheese over top and serve immediately.