Tagliata, a sliced steak, is a tasty and impressive beef course commonly served in many Italian restaurants nowadays, and it is quite easy to prepare at home too. The word tagliata derives from the verb tagliare, to cut. In fact, after it has been cooked the meat is cut diagonally into slices, no thicker than one inch. The best cut to use is beef tenderloin, but other steak cuts are good choices too. Maturation of the meat is one of the first steps to make a good tagliata. This process enhances meat quality, tenderness and flavor. Your butcher has carefully monitor temperature and humidity during the maturation process. Therefore, when you purchase the meat ask about the maturation time. Grilling over coals always gives a tasty flavor to meat, while a stove top grill can be a good alternative if outdoor grilling is not possible. Purists season tagliata only with sea salt, but I prefer adding some pepper and rosemary too. The rosemary gives an aromatic flavor to the meat. Sicilian sea salt is an excellent choice. In fact, it is rich in minerals because it does not undergo a chemical whitening process. Tagliata goes exceptionally well with arugula, lemon juice and parmesan cheese shaving. You can also serve it with either roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables.
TAGLIATA DI MANZO
700 g (approx. 1 ½ pound) beef tenderloin
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra Virgin)
1 sprig of rosemary
Sicilian sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Before cooking the meat, let stand unrefrigerated until it reaches room temperature. Place the grill pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Brush the pan with olive oil using a pastry brush.
2. Place the meat on the pan and the rosemary on top. Cook it on each side for about 5 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to determine when it reaches your preferred level of doneness (50°C/125°F for rare and 55°C/135°F for medium)
3. At the very end of cooking time, season with salt and pepper. Tagliata should not be served well-done. Remove from the pan and let it cool for at least 5-7 minutes on a wooden cutting board. This process will allow the meat to cook a little bit longer and to distribute the internal fluid making the meat tastier and more tender. According to your taste sprinkle with some aged balsamic vinegar on your tagliata. -Paola