NYC’s Ci Siamo is an Italian restaurant that operates a live-fire grill. With it, they cook a 45-day-aged, 45-ounce porterhouse, which is this restaurant’s interpretation of a bistecca alla fiorentina.
“Having a big cut of meat on the menu seemed a little bit appropriate,” says chef Hillary Sterling. “I wanted to make sure, if we’re going to do this, I want it to be big, bold, and almost egregious.”
The chefs begin by aggressively salting the meat, which helps keep the flavor throughout the poaching process. The meat then rests for two hours.
Once they take it out, the moisture starts to become visible. “The redness is coming out,” says Sterling. “It’s changing color, it’s changing texture. After this step, we kind of brush all this salt off.”
The cuts of meat then get poached in butter before service. “You’re not trying to sear the steaks off in the butter, you’re just trying to do a light poach,” says butcher and line cook Kara Gifford.
Sterling says the butter allows the chefs to cook the large piece of meat at a consistent temperature, which means they have more control to prevent the steak from overcooking.
From there, the porterhouse goes over the live-fire grill. “In order for us to be able to execute them outside on that wood-burning grill, it would take us an hour to do this start to finish from raw,” says Sterling.
Watch the full video to see how chefs at Ci Siamo cook the steak and other dishes, including swordfish, over a live fire.