Steak tagliata with roasted Piccolo vine tomatoes

Jeanne Horak-Druiff shares her dazzling beef tagliata recipe, perfect for any steak night dinner. The sweet Piccolo vine tomatoes are gently roasted until just burst, the ideal accompaniment to the steak when served with a peppery rocket salad and Parmesan cheese.

First published in 2015

Bless the Italians - just think of all the good stuff they have given us! Their Roman forefathers gave us Latin, the basis of so many modern Western European languages. Then there are artists like Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Caravaggio who produced some of the most famous works of art in existence. They gave us scientists like Archimedes, Galileo Galilei and Marconi; as well as musicians like Puccini, Monteverdi and Vivaldi whose compositions still provide so much pleasure today. And they gave us wonderful words that roll mellifluously off the tongue like bellissimo, attraversiamo and arrividedrci.

But of all the gifts that the Italians gave us, the ones I appreciate most are those you can eat and drink: the fresh tingle of Prosecco on the tongue; the indulgent layers of a tiramisu; the lusciousness of a creamy burrata; the deep satisfaction of a bowl of spaghetti alla carbonara; or the cheesy joy of a pizza. These are all the things that come to mind when one thinks of Italian cuisine - but of course there is much more to the Italian food than this list of old favourites. Something that you sadly don't often see on London Italian menus istagliata di manzo or beef tagliata. This consists of an excellent piece of steak that is lightly grilled to medium-rareness and then sliced across the grain into thin slices before being served, possibly on a bed of leaves. Like so many Italian dishes it relies heavily on the quality of ingredients, so don't skimp on anything. Much as I love steak, I do feel a little guilty if there is more meat than vegetables on the plate, so I have paired mine with some roasted Piccolo vine tomatoes. These sweet, aromatic and flavourful cherry vine tomatoes taste as gorgeous as they look and make the perfect foil for a juicy piece of steak. Buon appetito!





Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Place the tomatoes in a shallow oven-proof dish, splash them with a good glug of olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Roast for about 10 minutes or until the skins just begin to burst
In the meantime, heat a cast-iron skillet (or a gas barbecue) until very hot. Brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
Place them in the pan or on the gas barbecue and cook just until moisture beads start to appear on the top surface, then turn over and cook the other side. You want the meat to be still pink in the centre, so stop cooking when pressing down on the meat with a fork feels like pressing on the fleshy pad at the base of your thumb
Remove the steaks from the pan or barbecue, cover with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes. Divide the rocket leaves between two plates
Slice the steak thinly across the grain on a chopping board, then arrange each steak's slices on a plate of rocket. Sprinkle the shaved cheese over each plate, add the tomatoes still on their vine, and finish off with a splash of lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil
First published in 2015

Jeanne is a South African by birth and a Londoner by choice. Her blog CookSister was named as one of the Times Online's top 50 food blogs in the world and is also a four-time winner of the Best South African Food Blog.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.