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Bistecca alla Fiorentina

This famed Florentine steak is the exception to the general rule that although Tuscans eat meat often, the portions are relatively small. These steaks are gargantuan-each one large enough for two generous portions. Traditionally, the meat came from the herds of cattle that graze in Val di Chiana, between Arezzo and Florence. Today, any high-quality beef is used, but the cooking of the meat is still subject to a few easy, but stringent, rules. Each steak, for two people, must weigh between 1 1/4 and 1 3/4 pounds, be about an inch thick, and contain its T-bone, fillet and tenderloin. You are never asked how you want your meat cooked, for an authentic bistecca is always well browned on the outside and rare inside. A fresh juniper branch is usually added to the coals to scent the meat.
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