Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

So sang Simon and Garfunkel in 1966 in one of the most memorable and classic songs of its thyme (I’m sorry!) and as I was travelling through Italy a month ago, I was reminded of this by a delicious beef dish we were served in Montepulciano at the Osteria del Borgo, just off the main square. We had as good a meal there as any we’ve had in Italy to date.

We had:

Beef tagliata

A fillet steak fried in olive oil and flavoured with herbs – parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme – I reckoned, and ‘refreshed’ with a little lemon juice.

For 2


  • juice of half a lemon
  • about six tablespoons of olive oil
  • a tablespoon each of the herbs.


herb steak recipe

One of the most useful things I learnt at the Mama Agata Cookery School was that most herbs, with the exception of parsley and mint, have more flavour when dried. So for this steak I used a mix of fresh flat-leaved parsley and the other herbs were dried

Marinate (and freeze) in this mixture and then cook in searing hot oil once the steaks have reached room temperature. Season quickly just before frying. Allow to rest under foil at least ten minutes. Follow this link to find out how to cook the perfect steak.


The beef was accompanied by:


Green beans and Osteria del Borgo onion-braised potatoes


The restaurant had a marvellous high-tech carousel which enabled trying wines prior to ordering. We asked for something very ‘corposo’ (full-bodied), and were given a Montemercurio 2008 which hit the spot with both of us (“very good value” murmured my beloved wonderingly). Montepulciano is all about wine so we were very surprised to see the French couple next to us tucking into some beer!


Altogether a meal thoroughly recommended.

You can also read more about the other restaurants I’ve reviewed in Montepulciano.





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