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Le Cordon Bleu News, 05/01/2010
Beef Carpaccio
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Cuisine Recipe

Beef Carpaccio

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 4 hours freezing

Abstract:

This Italian classic originated in the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice. In Italian restaurants it is usually served with a bottle of the best extra-virgin olive oil to sprinkle over the beef. You can do this too if you wish.

Ingredients:

  • 250-300 g (8-10 oz) piece of beef fillet
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 tablespoons bottled pesto and a little olive oil
  • 1 shallot or small onion
  • 4 tablespoons drained capers
  • 150 g (5 oz) block of Parmesan cheese

Methods:

  1. Trim any fat or sinew from the beef and discard. Wrap the beef very tightly in cling film and place it in the freezer for about 4 hours to harden.
  2. About 1 hour before serving, cut the beef into wafer thin slices, using a sawing action with a very sharp knife. Arrange the beef on 4 plates, overlapping the slices slightly. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with pesto mixed to a runny consistency with olive oil. Finely chop the shallot or onion and sprinkle over the beef with the capers.
  3. Take the block of Parmesan and a vegetable peeler and carefully shave thin slivers of cheese onto a plate. Pick up the shavings with your fingertips and place them delicately on the carpaccio. Cover the plates and leave at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, by which time the beef will have thawed.
  4. To serve: Uncover the plates and serve immediately, with hot crusty bread.

Chef’s tips:

Freezing the beef until hard is a technique used by oriental chefs. It is the best way to get wafer thin slices.

Variation:

Make Quesadillas. Sandwich 2 tortillas with grated cheese, chopped jalapeño chillies and stoned black olives. Heat in a hot non-stick frying pan until the cheese starts to melt. Flip the sandwich over and heat the other side.

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