Thin slices of beef with artichokes
This is a classic Lazio dish, including Rome itself. The straccetti di manzo are thin slices or strips of good quality beef which in Italy are widely sold in supermarkets already sliced. In fact various types of meat are typically available pre-sliced here, and with chicken in particular there is often a choice of thin or ultra-thin chicken breast. This is very useful when making involtini (roll-ups) where slicing the meat very thinly yourself without tearing it is often the hardest part of the recipe.
For this dish you could just as easily use a small piece of fillet steak and slice it into strips, which is what we have done here. The starting point for this recipe is the very end of the article called Artichokes, a very Italian story that is in this section under Cooking the Italian Way. In other words, you should already have a bowl of lemon water containing five or six artichokes trimmed and cut into quarters together with the trimmed stems.
Ingredients for 2 people:
255 grams (9 oz ) fillet steak, cut into half inch thick strips
half glass of white wine
1 clove garlic
extra virgin Italian olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of fresh flat-leafed Italian parsley finely chopped
This method of cooking the artichokes is called trifolati. You will often see it referred to as carciofi trifolati or if cooking mushrooms this way it would be called funghi trifolati. The term simply means sautéed with olive oil and garlic over a high heat (fuoco vivace) with fresh parsley added to the finished dish.
1.Very generously oil a sauté pan and add 1 clove of a peeled garlic and turn the heat up high.
2. Before the garlic has a chance to brown add all the artichokes to the pan. Don’t shake off all the water first as some moisture is required but don’t add any liquid. Add a squeeze of lemon juice too.
3. Salt the artichokes well, they need quite a lot, and add more olive oil at this point if necessary.
4. After about 5 minutes add half a glass of white wine and let the alcohol boil off for 1 minute.
5. Cover tightly with a lid and turn the heat down low. Cook for about 12-15 minutes but don’t let the artichokes become too soft or mushy. Also, don’t let the pan become too dry but the abundant olive oil and steam from the lid should be sufficient without adding any liquid. Discard the garlic.
6. When the artichokes are cooked, oil a second sautè pan (Italians use abundant olive oil here as you can see from the above photo, so the juices from the meat can permeate the final dish). Turn the heat up high and salt the pieces of steak well. Cook for only 1-2 minutes until the steak releases its liquid.
7. Immediately pour the entire contents into the artichoke pan, mix well, add the parsley and a slug of top quality olive oil and serve immediately.
This is a really tasty dish if you use enough salt and olive oil during the process and there will be plenty of liquid on the plate at the end that needs mopping up with either fresh bread or mashed potatoes. We eat this all the time in the winter artichoke season and if you stick with normal Italian portions of meat rather than giant American portions then it’s also a healthy dinner and not particularly expensive.