• Florentine T-bone steak with tomato-bread salad and polenta chips (China Squirrel)

This is the classic Tuscan T-bone, fragrant with rosemary and garlic, traditionally served rare. Serve with another Tuscan classic, panzanella (a tomato and bread salad) for the perfect meal. All that is missing is a bottle of Chianti.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (7 votes)


Polenta chips with rosemary salt

  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • ½ cup coarse polenta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup mixed finely grated parmesan and pecorino cheese, to taste
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • light olive oil, for deep-frying 



  • 1 small red capsicum, roasted
  • 2slices Italian pane di casa
  • 250 g mixed cherry tomatoes
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 anchovy fillets, finely diced
  • 2 tsp salted capers, rinsed
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • red wine vinegar, for drizzling
  • 1 small handful bunch basil, leaves picked 


Bistecca alla Fiorentina

  • 1 x 2 inch-thick T-bone steak (600-800 g), at room temperature
  • light olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 30 minutes

For the polenta chips, bring the water and salt to the boil in a medium saucepan. While whisking, pour in the polenta in a slow stream, and whisk until it begins to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pan.

Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and stir every 5-6 minutes until the polenta is soft.

Add the butter, stirring until melted.

Add the cheese, stirring until melted.

Remove from the heat and leave with the lid on for 5 minutes.

Transfer to 30 cm x 20 cm tin or baking dish lined with baking paper for easy removal. Chill in the fridge until firmly set.

Combine the rosemary and salt and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 130ºC (to keep the chips warm until ready to serve).

Once the polenta is set, remove from dish and cut to desired chip size.

Heat the oil in a deep-sided saucepan to 180ºC, and deep-fry the polenta chips, in batches, until nicely golden. Drain on paper towel and transfer to the oven to keep warm.

Serve chips, sprinkled with the rosemary salt and parmesan.

For the panzanella, roast the capsicum over a flame or on a barbecue until charred all over. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to cool. Once cooled, peel the charred skin and discard. Cut the flesh into strips and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Toast the bread for 8-10 minutes or until golden.

Add the bread to the capsicum, breaking up the slices with your hands into large pieces.

Cut the tomatoes in different ways for texture and add to the capsicum, allowing the juices to soak into the bread.

Add the onion, capers, anchovy and basil. Drizzle with the vinegar and oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the bistecca, heat the oil in a frying pan to high and add the rosemary and garlic. Brush the steak with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on all sides until a golden crust forms, 5-10 minutes depending on thickness of meat, for rare or until cooked to your liking.

Place the steak on a platter, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes in a warm place.

To serve, slice the meat off the bone and serve with lemon wedges, salad and chips on the side.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.