Tuscan Steak – Abra’s Kitchen


Straight from the hills of Lucca, Italy, this Tuscan steak recipe uses a perfect sear technique and quintessential Tuscan herb dressing. This simple masterpiece, ready in under 20 minutes, is designed to be the star of the show whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or indulging in a delightful dinner at home. 

sliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a forksliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a fork

For a great side dish to this Tuscan Steak my Garlic Butter Air Fryer Green Beans have you covered and if red meat makes your mouth water like mine, you must try my Instant Pot Korean Beef. Rich with umami, it’s as delicious as it is easy to make.

Tuscan Steak – Straight from the Hills of Tuscany to Your Kitchen

My sister moved to Tuscany, Italy a little over a year ago and I have made it my JOB to spend as much time as possible visiting. I’m sure you would do the same 🙂

On our last visit, we rented a car for the day and drove into the mountains. With no particular destination in mind, we were hoping for gorgeous views and a really good pranzo (lunch). We got both.

We found a rustic refugio tucked into the hillside, and quickly scanned the dining room to see what other diners had ordered? Steak, steak, steak, and steak. Well then, we would also order steak (and a salad, and a soup).

My friends… this steak. Oh, this steak. It was perfectly seared rare to medium rare, lightly seasoned with salt but then topped with fresh parsley, the world’s most buttery olive oil (made from the olives that grew on the property), and a drizzle of sharp, sweet, tangy balsamic vinegar from Modena.

In Italian cooking, Tuscan-style steak often steals the spotlight. The secret to this great steak lies in its simplicity, allowing the best qualities of the meat to shine. Be it a porterhouse steak, rib eye steak, filet mignon, or skirt steak. This recipe uses an easy pour-over marinade and an aged balsamic vinegar drizzle for a simple Tuscan steak with so much flavor that it seems like magic. 

You’ll Love this Recipe

  • The reward far outweighs the effort – Using just a few simple but good-quality ingredients you’ll have an amazing Tuscan steak dinner in under 20 minutes. 
  • Tons of flavor – It still amazes me how much flavor comes from such a simple recipe.  The key is in selecting good quality ingredients and letting them shine.  Often it is tempting to amp up flavor with extra seasoning and complicated marinades.  This recipe is a prime example of classic Italian cooking – less is more. There’s a reason this has been served in Italy for centuries.  It just works! 

Let’s Get Cooking!

Ingredients to make tuscan steak on a white backgroundIngredients to make tuscan steak on a white background

Ingredients and Helpful Substitution Tips

Detailed measurements and ingredients can be found within the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Steak – cut of your choice –  I used a New York strip. 
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley – For its clear straightforward flavor. Parsley compliments the meaty flavor with a soft herbaceousness. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Use the best quality you can find in a reasonable price range. The most expensive does not always mean the best for the dish. I prefer a mild buttery olive oil for this dish as opposed to sharp grassy oil. I find that the buttery flavor compliments the rich meat while allowing the parsley and other herbs to shine through. Some premium olive oils are prized for their grassy bitter flavor, so find the one that works best for your taste preference. 
  • Aged balsamic vinegar – Quality counts – Noticing a theme here? Again get the best in your price range. The better and more aged a vinegar the more intense the flavor is. Aged vinegars are thicker and sweeter with more complex undertones. This is not the same balsamic you get in the cruets at the salad bar. You can spend a fortune on aged balsamic vinegar but there is no need to go wild. Generally, something in the $20-40 range from Modena Italy will work well. I know that sounds pricey but a light drizzle goes a long way when the thick vinegar melts into the meat and the marinade creating the perfect elixir of sugar, acid salt, and fat. HEAVEN!!!
  • Fresh garlic (optional) – It may surprise some to learn that garlic is used less and with a lighter touch in Italy than in the US.  Typically this steak has no garlic but feel free to muddle some into your mixture. It will still be delicious. 
  • Kosher or sea salt – Kosher salt is the universal standard for seasoning meats. Find a brand you like and stick with it because you will eventually develop an intuitive understanding of how much you like to use. Brands such as Morton and Diamond Crystal have different crystal sizes and shapes and this influences how salty they taste. For example, a teaspoon of brand (A) may produce a saltier taste than brand (B) because of the density of salt content due to shape and size of individual crystals.  Here’s a great article on Salt brand comparisons.   
  • Fresh black pepper – Be sure to use fresh ground pepper. The intensity of flavor is crucial.
  • Maldon sea salt – the perfect finishing salt for meats.  The wide flaky crystals melt into the meat and provide a little poppy crunch.
  • Sharp knifeFor the perfect slices.
  • Meat thermometer – to dial in that perfect medium rare steak. 
  • Cast iron pan – Perfect for getting that really hot sear to lock ion flavor
  • Cutting board
  • Mortar and Pestle –This is the easiest way to make the marinade, especially if you are adding garlic. 

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Preheat grill/skillet – Ensure a very hot cast iron skillet by preheating for about 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat. 
  1. Make the pour-over marinade/herb sauce – combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper into a mortar and pestle.  Muddle until the parsley is well mashed and bruised but not completely pulverized.  If you are using garlic you would also add your peeled cloves to this mixture and mash them in. Add the rest of the olive oil to the mixture and allow to sit so that the flavors marry. 
  1. Prepare the Steak –  Pat the steak dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Give the steak a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.  This helps create a great crust when cooking. 
  2. Cook the Steak –  Add a little oil to the hot pan and then lay the seasoned steak in the pan.  For a medium-rare steak, aim for about 2-3 minutes on each side. However, this is going to vary based on how thick the steak is.  Traditionally Tuscans serve their steak rare.  I like it cooked a little more towards Med-Rare-Medium. The best way to know is to use an instant-read thermometer to tell the internal temperature.  My recommended temperature is 135°
  3. Remove and rest –  Once cooked to your desired doneness, remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes under a foil tent.  This allows the juices of the steak to redistribute for a juicy bite.  While the steak is resting pour half of the marinade over the steak allowing it to sink into the hot meat. Sprinkle with a few flakes of Maldon sea salt to amplify the flavors 
  4. Slice and serve with a balsamic drizzle – If you are using a thicker cut like NY strip or Ribeye, cut into half-inch – 1-inch pieces.  If you are using a flank or skirt steak as is more traditional, you will want to cut into thinner layers across the grain of the meat for tenderness.  Once sliced, pour over the remaining marinade, sprinkle with a few flakes of Maldon salt and drizzle enough aged balsamic over the steak so that it touches each piece in a thin ribbon of vinegar.  Serve with a simple salad of lightly dressed arugula and herbs or these Truffle Smashed Potatoes and enjoy life.
sliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a forksliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a fork

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure your pan is searing hot! When you place the steak in the pan you need to hear a sizzle. If you don’t hear that sizzle, remove steak and wait a few more minutes.
  • Slicing: If using a flank, hanger or skirt steak, cut thin slices against the grain to ensure tenderness.  Filet mignon, NY Strip and Ribeyes can be cut into thick slices. 
  • Sea Salt Finale: Sprinkle with sea salt for that last crucial touch. Maldon is a coarse sea salt with a delicate flaky crystal that holds its texture as it melts into the steak. A small pinch enhances the flavor of almost anything its added to. 
  • Let the Meat Rest: This is a crucial step.  Allow the meat to rest for approx 5-7 minutes before slicing.  This allows the juices to redistribute as it cools. Cutting into it too early can result in a dryer steak. 
  • Balsamic Brilliance: Pour over the remainder of the meat juices and add a generous drizzle of high-quality aged balsamic vinegar for a flavorful finish.
  • A Bed of Greens – The Tuscan Way: Serve your sliced steak on a bed of greens. An arugula salad adorned with cherry tomatoes fresh herbs, extra-virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice makes a perfect companion and counterpoint to the rich meat.  
  • Use the best ingredients you can find: it really makes a difference.  

Storage and Reheating Instructions

  • STORAGE – Refrigerate in an airtight container for 1-2 days
  • REHEATING – Once the meat has been dressed with the marinade and balsamic, I only recommend a quick pass in the microwave or the conventional oven at 325° for 10 minutes to take the chill off. 

FAQ

What to serve with Tuscan Steak? 

Roasted potatoes, sauteed spinach, and cannellini beans are all traditional side dishes.  I love to have this with a simple salad for a lighter touch, especially if I’m making this as a lunch steak.

What is special about Tuscan Steak?

Known for its well-browned exterior and soft juicy interior, traditional Tuscan steaks come from the Chianina cattle breed known for its very flavorful meat.  To highlight the flavor of the meat the steak is typically seasoned very simply with just salt and pepper. 

sliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a forksliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a fork

I can’t wait for you to try this! When you make it, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @abrapappa or use the hashtag #abraskitchen so I can feature your photo! 

If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!

sliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a forksliced steak with an herb dressing on a white plate with a fork

Tuscan Steak

Abra Pappa, MS, CNS, LDN

Tuscan Style Steak is a simple masterpiece that anyone can make in less than 30 minutes.   Straight from the hills of Lucca, Italy, this Tuscan steak recipe is designed to be the star of the show whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or indulging in a delightful dinner at home. 

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 6 minutes

Course Main Course

Cuisine American, Italian

Servings 2 servings

Calories 760 kcal

Ingredients  

  • 1 lb NY Strip Steak
  • 1/2 cup parsley Chopped and loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for cooking the steak
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar to drizzle over the steak
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt to finish the steak

Instructions 

  • Place a cast iron pan (or heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan) over medium-high heat.

  • While the pan is getting hot make the pour-over marinade. Combine chopped parsley, 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper in a mortar and pestle. Mash until the parsley is well broken down but not completely pulverized. Add the remaining olive oil and allow the flavors to marry. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chop the parsley a little finer and combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Pat the steak dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and season generously with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.

  • Add a tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and lay the seasoned steak in the pan to cook.

  • Cook steak for approximately 2-5 minutes on each side for a rare/med-rare Tuscan-style steak. Cook longer if you prefer medium rare/med. Cook time will vary depending on the cut and thickness of the steak. (Medium rare temperature is 130-140°)

  • Remove the steak from the pan and pour half of the marinade over the hot meat. Tent with foil and allow the meat to rest for 5-7 minutes

  • Slice the steak and pour the remaining marinade over the sliced meat.

  • Finish the meat with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and a light sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Pour enough vinegar that it covers each piece in a thin ribbon of dark sweet vinegar. Both the vinegar and sea salt will meld into the marinade and flavors of the steak. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

    • Slicing: If using a flank, hanger or skirt steak, cut thin slices against the grain to ensure tenderness.  Filet mignon, NY Strip and Ribeyes can be cut into thick slices. 
    • Sea Salt Finale: Sprinkle with sea salt for that last crucial touch. Maldon is a coarse sea salt with a delicate flaky crystal that holds its texture as it melts into the steak. A small pinch enhances the flavor of almost anything its added to. 
    • Let the meat rest: This is a crucial step.  Allow the meat to rest for approx 5-7 minutes before slicing.  This allows the juices to redistribute as it cools. Cutting into it too early can result in a dryer steak. 
    • Balsamic Brilliance: Pour over the remainder of the meat juices and add a generous drizzle of high-quality aged balsamic vinegar for a flavorful finish.
    • A Bed of Greens – The Tuscan Way: Serve your sliced steak on a bed of greens. An arugula salad adorned with cherry tomatoes fresh herbs, extra-virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice makes a perfect companion and counterpoint to the rich meat.  

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces of steak + dressingCalories: 760kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 47gFat: 61gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 1292mgPotassium: 809mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1266IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 5mg

MORE SIMPLE PROTEIN RECIPES TO TRY!

Perfect Every Time Chicken Breast

Cast Iron Skillet Crispy Chicken Thighs

Crispy Pork Cutlet


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Belli Health
Logo
Shopping cart