Steak Palermo Style
alla Palermitana”-“Carni ‘Mpanata”)
This is a traditional Palermo’s
dish, consisting of breaded thinly sliced beef, which is first marinated and then quickly broiled, grilled or
cooked in a very hot uncovered heavy pan.
When my aunt Francesca – in our my family she was in charge of shopping
for the food supply – went to our butcher “Giarrusso Meat Market”, to
buy the fettine for the bistecche impanate, she would insist on a tender cut called tenero di codata- the boneless rump steak, and she would also recommend to
make the slices thin, so that it would be easier to chew them.
In Sicily calves
live in the open field, building meat and strength, at times they are used to work the fields and are butchered
when they are well over a year old, resulting in a tough and muscular meat mostly eaten boiled or chopped; hence
the reason that Sicilian Cuisine is loaded with meat loafs, meat balls and stews.
The preparation of this dish
makes the meat palatable and tender and offers the possibility to eat “a steak” using an inexpensive piece of
A very important part of this preparation is to soak the meat for a few
hours into a marinade not only to compliment the taste of the meat with the flavor of the marinade but most
importantly to tenderize the meat by breaking down its fibers.
Serves 4 to 6
6 sliced boneless
sirloin steaks (about 3 lb.)
½ cup of olive
½ cup of wine,
white or red
3 whole garlic
1 lemon, sliced
¼ cup chopped
pinch of oregano
sprigs of fresh
parsley for garnish
a wide container
with 1 lb. of sifted fine Italian breadcrumbs
In a plastic or stainless steel bowl that will fit in your refrigerator,
combine and whisk the olive oil and wine; add the crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves, lemon, chopped parsley,
oregano, any other herb(s), little salt and pepper.
Trim any fat, and place each
piece of meat between two sheets of wrapping plastic, and with a mallot flatten to the same thickness. Sprinkle
with salt and pepper. Dunk steaks into marinade and turn to coat. Make sure that marinade covers the meat; if
needed add some more wine. Seal container with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and marinade at least two
hours and up to 12 hours or more, turning steaks occasionally to absorb the flavors.
Prepare and heat grill or a heavy pan
Drain steaks and place one at a time in the container with the
Squeeze the breadcrumbs into the steaks, patting heavily with your
hands, to firmly compact the breadcrumbs. Set the breaded steaks
into a pan or dish and once they have all been breaded, move them on to the grill or pan.
Cook for 7 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other side for rare,
or use your judgment to cook to the desired doneness. Turn steaks only once.
Place in a serving dish and garnish with parsley
Serve with a green salad, a fresh loaf of Italian bread along with a
Cerasuolo wine or a Californian Burgundy.