June 18, 2007

Beef Carpaccio

I'm not a raw meat person. If I have to choose between "medium rare" and "well done", I would go for "well done" definitely. I would just lose my appetite when I see blood flowing out from where I cut my steak!

Only beef carpaccio would make the exception. As I do agree it's the only way to celebrate good beef, not rarely cooked steak. Maybe it's just the blood that freaks me out? I don't know!

I remember the first time I had carpaccio in an Italian restaurant, I never thought I could actually make it at home. It's such an exquisite and pricey dish for dine-out. At least I couldn't seem to cut my beef slices thin enough.

Until I watched "Jamie at Home" the other day, and the way he made carpaccio was super simple that totally got me to give it a try!

The most important thing of making good carpaccio is the quality of meat. We bought a small portion (1/2 pound) of beef tenderloin from our favorite  Italian butcher. We were planning to have it as an antipasto for two followed by pasta or something. But since the small piece turned out to be a huge full dish of thinly sliced carpaccio, we eventually didn't have any room for anything else except a bottle of good red wine.

I've also found it a fantastic and elegant dish to take to friends. You can make it in advance, and it keeps very well.

(serves 4 as starter)
1/2 pound beef tenderloin
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped basil
1 tablespoon of chopped oregano
2 tablespoon of olive oil
a handful of arugula, rocket or mixed greens you prefer (I used pea shoots)
a wedge of Parmesan
pinch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Combine salt, pepper and herbs. Roll beef in mixture, coating thoroughly.

Heat up a small skillet with olive oil. Briefly sear the beef on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. You want the outside of the beef to brown, but the inside should remain very rare.

Place the beef on a plate and put in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice. Slice the chilled beef as thin as possible against the grain, and arrange on plates. Press the knife blade or your thumb on each beef slice if it's not thin enough.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave some Parmesan over the beef.

Briefly place arugula over the beef.

Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over and serve.


Shirley said...

Hm......I love Carpaccio, and found it extremely expensive in those Italian restaurants.
I will definitely try your recipe.

Kristen said...

I have never had carpaccio. Very interesting!

lululu said...

Shirley - Go try it at home. You would rather spend $$$ on buy good quality of meat serving a big bunch of people than paying just too much for 2.

Kristen - If you are cool with raw meat, go try it!

Kirsten said...

beautiful! I always order it out, but haven't tried it myself. I am inspired!