Heres a dish thats simple and elegant. Widely adaptable to many proteins and accompaniments, its original preparation has, in a short time, earned it a place in culinary history for generations to come.
The dish, based on a northern Italian “carne crudo” originated in Venice, Italy in 1950. After doctors recommended an Italian countess include raw meat in her diet, Giuseppe Cipriani of Harrys Bar created Carpaccio for her visit. Named after 16th century painter Vittore Carpaccio, known for his use of rich red tones, contrasted with white. This dish combines the necessary elements of fat, salt, and acid that compliment raw proteins.
Following will be a traditional preparation, as well as an example of an easy spin to add a personal touch. Carpaccio is easy to scale up for parties, requires no special equipment, and is a great addition to any holiday table.
3T Garlic oil
3/4cup olive oil
3oz red meat from a whole muscle
1/2 lemon Shaved parm, grana, or pecorino
Finishing salt Pepper
rolling pin, wine bottle, or similar
vegetable peeler (or similar for thin cheese slices.)
Quality always matters but its most important when dealing with raw ingredients , and simple preparations like this where ingredients cant hide under overpowering spices. I use deer backstrap, any similar animal will work. Beef eye of round is a great substitute.
For the garlic oil: smash garlic with flat surface of knife, combine gently over medium high heat until garlic starts to brown, remove from heat, let cool overnight, strain to remove garlic.
For the Carpaccio: Slice protein, place between two sheets of plastic food film allowing space to expand, and pound to 1/8-1/4” uniform thickness with a rolling pin or similar tool, (having the meat almost frozen will help with these steps), you should end up with roughly the size and shape of a dinner plate with little to no overlap. You can prepare as many of these sheets as you would like ahead of time, and store them wrapped. To plate simply remove one side of the plastic film place the meat side down on the serving platter and remove too film just prior to the next step.
Heat garlic oil on high until smoke point is reached, add capers, remove from heat and carefully pour over plated protein. This hot oil will slightly cook the meat, as will the squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Finish with shaved parmesan cheese, cracked pepper, and a salt of choice. Serve with grissini or another thin crispy bread.
Now that we have the basic understanding of how the lean meat is complimented by the fat of the oil, and cheese, the saltiness of the cheese, and capers, and the acidity of the capers and lemon juice. We can start to experiment a little. Always conscious of the interplay between flavor and texture and its impact on the finished product.
Substituting jalapenos for capers, switching acids and cheeses gives us something resembling the original, with a regional or personal flair. Get creative.