I say capaccio, you say carpaccio
I want to replicate a dining experience a friend and I had a few years ago. He loved the carpaccio we shared and I'd love to surprise him with it as an appetizer. I am not looking to completely replicate it because I know which ever recipe I choose will be appreciated also I don't think either of us remember the preparation, but we both remember the experience of enjoying the dish.
Some questions: Are there suggested cuts of meat to practice on before I invest in a tenderloin? What are some not to miss/innovative/ tried and true recipes to try? What kind of olive oil should I use? Are there some techniques for slicing and flattening the beef that work well (I am a bit leary at flattening because it takes away from presentation and texture). Thanks
anything requiring a paper-narrow slice and you don't have a motorized deli-type slicer is helped with a brief par-freeze (30 minutes) and a nice serrated knife used with a horizontal motion (think bread). I too, would hesitate to pound - ya ain't making schnitzel!
or if it's being used soon, like within the day, you could have your butcher slice it up on the spot.
I've wanted to try to prepare it at home too but haven't as yet. I did talk to a butcher once who told me to ring ahead and order it a week prior so he could ensure he got a good cut for me. I can't for the life of me remember the cut he suggested but I do recall him asking whether I wanted beef or veal.
The meal I wanted to replicate was beef with green peppercorns, olive oil, parmesan shavings and rocket (arugula). A wedge or two of lemon was served with it, and a bowl of sea salt flakes to sprinkle on if desired.
The only restaurant I worked at that did not use tenderloin used an eye of the round cut. The meat is thin enough that it remains tender and there was good flavour in that cut.
Every restaurant I have worked at has sliced the meat from frozen, but without a slicer, completely frozen would be dangerous.
I would try to ask a butcher or restaurant to cut it for me and then lay it on parchment paper. If this is not feasible, then in the freezer until its solid enough to hold shape but can be sliced with a very sharp long knife.
Roll the meat in saran wrap and spin it tight to get a nice compressed round shape.
If nearly frozen you might be able to use a mandolin, its hard to say, I have never tried.
I am not sure how you had it, but my favourite is just some salt and pepper on the meat, some baby arugula tossed with some lemon and olive oil, salt and pepper. I would use the best olive oil you have, and a fresh lemon. Not necessary, but truffle oil also doesn't hurt. I like to keep it fairly simple.
I am starting to crave a carpaccio now and I live in a place where there is no carpaccio to be, so I am jealous! :P
What's wrong with pounding the meat to flatten and tenderize it? I've had it made with thin shavings and pounded meat. Both are good. For a home cook with limited knife skills, I would say pounding would lead to better results. You can get a uniform thickness. I would not recommend using a mandolin on frozen meat. I think that could be dangerous as if the meat is frozen, I think you won't be able to push it through without using significant force.
My butcher always said freezing was a no-no, chilling for 30 minutes is the standard before slicing. He also recommended either beef sirloin or tenderloin filet. It's been quite a time since I prepared the dish myself but if I was to make a recommendation I would send you to this guidepost:
Why a no no? If its wrapped well, can do plastic then foil and used soon there will be no freezer burn, and the difference in texture from nearly frozen to frozen would be negligible. Every restaurant I have worked in, including in italy, has done from frozen without issue. It would make it difficult to cut at home though.