Choose a large, thick beef steak, lean and tender. Buy it preferably the night before; blanket it with quarters of truffles (fresh or canned), so that they may spend the night together. Then, the next day, spread a thin coating of butter on one side of the steak. Pepper it, but do not use salt. Put it on a grill and broil it over a vigorous fire made with twigs and clippings from grape vines, which, in this case, are far more satisfactory than charcoal.
As soon as a crust forms on the underside of the steak, place on the upper side (which has not been buttered) the quarters of truffles and liberal lumps of butter. Then slow down the fire. The butter melts, becomes charged with the essence of the heated truffles, and penetrates into the meat.
Your culinary tact will tell you at what point to remove the truffles and to turn your steak, taking care to stir up your fire of fagots and vines. Replace the truffles on the steak thus turned over and allow it to cook according to your tastes. Then salt it and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Samuel Chamberlain's Clementine in the Kitchen (Random House, 2001)
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