Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quick Carpaccio Makes a Festive Holiday Appetizer

An elegant Christmas Eve or ney Year's eve meal -
Carpaccio, Sprinf Mix Salad and Asparagus Soup.
You are gonna mock me after reading the instructions for Carpaccio and claim there is nothin’ quick about making this dish.

There are a LOT of photos and what looks like a LOT of steps. But I needed to incrementally illustrate the process I describe in the recipe in case you’ve never made anything like this before. But honestly, it takes longer to describe how to make the Carpaccio than it does to actually make it.
You will likely shorthand steps and make it very quickly.
And, once you taste the Carpaccio, you will wonder where it’s been all your life and any question of quick disappears. You won’t care how long it does or doesn’t take.

You will simply need Carpaccio as you need air. You will wake up craving it.
Daddy carving something meatilicious!

We grew up with our dad butchering the freshest meat. He would trim little pieces, season them and feed us from the cutting board where we stood in a row like little birds. To this day, a bite of rare steak reminds me of Dad.

I honestly find it difficult to eat meat cooked beyond medium rare, preferring rare when possible. Even during chemo when I had no business eating any raw meat, I still ate as much as I could on the rare side of medium rare.

If your budget does not extend to include tenderloin, you may try making Carpaccio from hanger steak which is about half the price of tenderloin. It’s very flavorful and tender. Or, you may choose to make it from eye of round. It won’t be as tender, but it will have good flavor and will cost about 20% as much as tenderloin. Whichever cut of meat you choose, please be sure to use the freshest meat from a reputable source. Do not let the meat sit overnight nor use frozen meat.

Quick Carpaccio
  Full Recipe: $9.80
Per Serving: $2.45

Serves: 4    Serving Size: 2 ounces beef     Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 3 Minutes
Grilling Time: 4-5 Minutes
Assembly Time: 15 Minutes
Start to Finish Time: 22 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Carpaccio is an easy and elegant appetizer that makes a perfect low carb start to a holiday dinner.

Quick Carpaccio is a delicious appetizer or first course

For Carpaccio
  • 8 ounces beef tenderloin -- or hanger steak or eye of round
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 spritz olive oil spray
For Garnish
  • ¼ cup capers -- drained
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup red onion -- slivered or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 lemon

You must use beef for this dish. The freshest, purest beef is best, since this is a raw dish. The only substitute I would or could suggest would be to use sushi grade tuna or wild caught, fresh salmon. People with a compromised immune system need to think hard about eating Carpaccio.

Remove tenderloin from refrigerator. Rinse with cold water and dry your beef.

Trim off silver skin.

This is silver skin. It’s tough like a rubber band and lies under the fat layer just on top of the meat. Silver skin will never get tender.

Crush cloves of garlic and massage into beef. Season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

If desired, you may also season with a tablespoon of fresh rosemary leave. Chop or bruise the rosemary with the back of a knife blade to release the essential oils.

An easy way to season the beef, is to season your board.

Add cracked black pepper and kosher salt..

Rub meat around the seasoned board.

Get all the seasoning off the board and on the meat.

Tie tenderloin with butcher’s twine to ensure even cooking.

Drizzle tenderloin, hanger steak or beef eye of round roast with Worcestershire sauce and olive oil.
Ok, ready to grill! This is a raw dish. The meat does not get cooked, merely seared on the outside. The inside is considered "blue" or raw - red, raw center. Heat a grill (gas or propane) on ignite for 5 minutes with the lid down. You may use a charcoal fire as well. Prepare a very hot fire with an elongated cone of charcoal roughly the same length as your piece of meat and the same width as your steak.

Cook meat on ignite the entire time. The object is to have a cold piece of meat so the center is protected and does not cook while browning the outer surface of the meat. You brown the outer surface because in an intact, large cut of meat, the greatest chance of bacteria comes from contamination on the outer surface of the meat. Typically, the tenderloin is a "cleaner" cut of meat. The searing will not kill any indwelling pathogen or parasite.

To sear meat, cook each side of beef tenderloin on ignite for 1 minute with the lid down.

Turn meat 90° lengthwise after each time period. Repeat on each “face” or surface of the meat.

You will cook for a total time of 4-6 minutes. Remove from fire.

Allow meat to rest on a plate for 5 minutes or until ready to serve. You may cover and chill meat for up to two hours prior to serving.

Cut each slice of meat evenly - about 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick. Depending how thick you slice it, each person will get one to two slices of Carpaccio. Prepare one long sheet of plastic wrap.

Spray plastic with olive oil spray to lightly coat the sheet. Spread out meat slices on a cutting board. You can lightly coat your cutting board with water, to make it easier to remove the pounded meat. Leave room around each slice so meat can spread when pounding. Place plastic, oil side toward meat. Try not to compress plastic except where pounding the meat. It will allow the meat to move easier and flatten without tearing.

Each slice gets done separately. With a flat meat pounder or back of a small pan, gently strike the plastic covered meat and press away from you. Rotate cutting board if necessary and repeat until meat is evenly pounded to about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.

Repeat with all the meat slices. (Note: do not use a meat pounder with raised serrations or tines. It will tear the meat. You aren't tenderizing, only flattening the meat slice.)

Each slice could be pounded ahead of time. Arrange on serving plates and cover with plastic. Stack plates and refrigerate until ready to serve - up to 2 hours ahead.

Serve 1-2 slices per person and garnish plate with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Use a vegetable peeler to cut very thin, long strips from a wedge of Parmesan.

Top each plate with a spoon of capers, chopped or slivered red onion and cracked black pepper. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Grate 2 to 3 zestings of lemon zest over each serving of Carpaccio using a microplane. Squeeze 3-4 drops of fresh lemon juice over each plating or serve each plate with a wedge of lemon.

Serve immediately.

Per Serving: 296 Calories; 26g Fat (79.9% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 2.5g Carbohydrate; .5g Dietary Fiber; 44mg Cholesterol; 452mg Sodium; 2g Net Carbs.

Serving Ideas: Serve with a dry red wine and Parmesan Crusted Cheese Stuffed Revolution Rolls or as a first course with a frisée, arugula, or baby mixed greens salad tossed with House Vinaigrette.

Carpaccio is Italian (Venetian) steak tartare of a sort. It's made by searing the outer surface of tenderloin while keeping the inner meat raw and cold. The thicker the meat, the longer you can afford to sear the outside without cooking the inside meat.
I make the pounded Carpaccio ahead of time. It's easy to cut and lightly press or pound the meat slices into appropriate thinness and wrap it in the plastic you pressed it in until ready to serve. Or I go ahead and put the meat on the serving plates, cover each plate with plastic wrap and stack the plates. Then I place the stacked plates in the fridge until ready to garnish and serve.

Carpaccio makes a dramatic presentation and is a light and satisfying first course or appetizer. Even people who don't generally eat their meat rare or medium rare enjoy this dish.

By making the plates of flattened Carpaccio ahead, you can assemble with the garnish at the last minute and still have time to visit with friends. Serve Carpaccio as either an appetizer, or with a light frisée, arugula or mixed baby greens salad tossed with House Vinaigrette.

We even like to serve this as a light meal on either Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve by serving it with a simple green salad and an elegant asparagus soup or tomato basil soup.

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