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One for the meat eaters

One day I’ll invent a tool for getting the last 10% out of the mayo jar. Jeeze it was a long Saturday night.

Until then I’ll keep sending you recipes and this week’s a good ‘un: tagliata di manzo.

Simply seasoned steak which is grilled (usually until rare) and then sliced into thin strips. A dish that pairs perfectly with a crunchy salad and juicy glass of wine.

This week’s album

GREY Area by Little Simz

Having previously made 5 EPs and 2 albums, this is the album that reached a wider audience for Little Simz (a.k.a. Simbi Ajikawo). It focuses on Little Simz navigating the ‘grey area’ of her twenties and reveals a young rapper who, despite all her success, feels she still has a lot to understand in other parts of her life.

What's in a name?

Tagliata di manzo comes from the verb ‘tagliare’ which means ‘to cut’ (referring to the way this classic and widespread dish is always served), and ‘manzo’ which means ‘beef’. There are more well-known beef dishes from Italy such as ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’, but tagliata remains my go-to due to its modesty. It’s a firm favourite in trattorie everywhere.

If ever the saying ‘less is more’ applied to a dish then this would be it. There’s no need for a strong sauce or loads of garnishes. All I’d suggest to accompany proceedings is a traditional rocket and parmesan salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Maybe a chunk of decent bread too just to mop up the juices.

You don’t do much to the steaks which is why good quality ones, seasoned only with sea salt and finished with best quality olive oil, are so important. My recommendation would be bavette (also known as flank) steak for three reasons:

1. It comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. Because these muscles work more than other parts of the cow (i.e. fillet or sirloin) you get more flavour.

2. It lends itself to being done rare/medium rare (ideal for this dish).

3. It’s far cheaper than other cuts. Try get aged/matured ones as this helps the steak’s flavour develop.

One more thing: to finish the steak, use the best quality olive oil you can afford. For the cooking process you don’t need to use anything fancy as the flavour will be lost during cooking.

However, once you’ve cooked the perfect steak, rested and sliced it, you want to drizzle it with something special and savour the flavour of the peppery olive oil marrying beautifully with the steak.

What you need

The below serves 2. It takes 10 mins to prep and 15 mins to cook.


360g-400g beef steak

1 sprig rosemary

2 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)

30g rocket

20g parmesan (shaved)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (best quality)

0.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar (best quality)

Sea salt & black pepper

Ready, steady, cook

1. Remove your steaks from the fridge 45 mins before you’re going to cook them. This gets them down to room temp which helps you cook them more accurately.

2. Preheat a grill pan or heavy-based frying pan to maximum heat (it’s crucial the pan is super hot). While the pan is preheating, season your steaks generously with salt and then rub in the cooking olive oil.

NOTE: at this stage we’ll only use salt to season the steaks. Later, once they’re cooked and sliced, we’ll add some black pepper. If we were to do it at this stage the pepper would just burn in the pan and leave a bitter taste.

3. Place the steaks in the hot pan and leave to cook for 30 seconds before turning. Leave to cook for another 30 seconds and turn again. Repeat this process for about 3-6 mins (cooking times will depend on the size of your steaks and how much you want to cook them).

4. When happy, transfer the steaks to a wire/cake rack set over a tray. Leave to rest for a minimum of five mins.

NOTE: the rack allows the heat to disperse from the steak. If you were to place it directly onto a plate the underside would retain its heat and ‘sweat’ against the plate which means more juices will escape.

5. While the steak is resting, take the rosemary sprig and rub it gently between your palms to release its aromas. Then rub all over the steak.

Add the rocket leaves to a bowl and season with a little salt, the balsamic vinegar, and one tablespoon of best quality extra virgin olive oil. Transfer to plates and scatter over the shaved parmesan.

6. Once the steak has rested, slice into thin strips (about 0.5cm wide). It’s important to carve against the natural ‘grain’ of the steak as it cuts through the fibers which shorten them, making it easier for you to chew.

Add to the plate with the rocket leaves and drizzle over the remaining good olive oil, any juices that have collected beneath the resting rack, and a final sprinkle of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Final thought

Not a fan of bavette/flank? You can use whichever cut of steak you prefer (usually something off the bone) such as fillet, sirloin, onglet/hanger, rump or ribeye.

Enjoy your time in the kitchen. Same time next week,


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Eat My Words · Kew Gardens · Kew, TW9 · United Kingdom

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