Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Pellegrino Artusi, a famous Tuscan chef, calls English roastbeef “il rosbif”. So says Francesco Sorelli in his book, “La Toscana di Ruffino” (here on Amazon).

Roastbeef arrived in Italy in the 1800’s, when Tuscan cooks learned to prepare this dish for the many English families that lived in Florence and its countryside.

With time, they adapted it to our ingredients, introducing olive oil, local herbs and Chianti, transforming it into a delicious Italian classic.


For roastbeef, we use a lean first quality cut of beef, the “controfiletto”, which is found on the animal’s back.

The roastbeef is tied with kitchen twine and seasoned with a mix of chopped Tuscan herbs: juniper, rosemary, bay leaf, sage, and garlic. It is then browned in the pot, adding red wine during the cooking.

It should be served rare, but not too rare, and topped with the cooking gravy.

Roastbeef is delicious with “patate mascè”, potatoes boiled until very soft, and mashed with a fork until they become creamy. They are then seasoned with olive oil (preferably “new “ oil), salt and pepper.

You can also add some chopped parsely. The quality of the potato is very important.

Francesco Sorelli – My Tales of Tuscany