I love beef carpaccio and I order it in restaurants quite often. But even the restaurants get it wrong, sometimes. When John had arugula, parmigiano reggiano, and lemons leftover from his party, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try making beef carpaccio at home. It turns out that it is incredibly easy to make, and that the key to success lies in the quality of the meat used. I urge you to splurge on the beef, but I won’t blame you if you don’t, because when I spent $19 at Whole Foods for a single, small, filet mignon, I felt outraged, regretful, and then outraged, again. Until, that is, I tasted the final product. No regrets here. I was blown away by the deliciousness over and over again, after each bite. I may never order beef carpaccio from a restaurant again, because the flavour of the beef that I used was dramatically better than anything I’ve ever had in a restaurant.
Beef Carpaccio Recipe
makes 2 to 4 servings; adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
1 filet mignon or a small piece of beef tenderloin that is the same width throughout (Note: The quality of the meat used in this dish is very important. I recommend buying the highest quality and most naturally raised meat you can get.)
1 to 2 cups of fresh baby arugula or rocket
shavings of parmigiano reggiano or grana padano
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
high quality extra virgin olive oil
coarse Kosher sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Wash the piece of meat under cool running water and then pat it very dry using paper towels. Then freeze the piece of meat until it is, at least, almost frozen through. Rub small pinches of salt and larger pinches of freshly cracked black pepper all over the outside of the frozen beef. Then heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Very carefully, use long tongs to add the beef to the hot skillet. Be careful to avoid getting splattered with the hot oil. Sear all sides of the piece of beef, but do not allow the meat to cook through to the inside. You should spend no more than 4 minutes total searing the meat to allow the insides to remain rare. Then freeze the seared piece of meat for 2 hours to make it easier to slice the meat thinly. Using a large, sharp knife, slice the beef crosswise as thinly as possible.
Here are three different suggestions for how to plate this dish:
- Place a bed of arugula on the serving plate. Add a few squirts of lemon juice to taste and add a few light drizzles of extra virgin olive oil. Then place a few slices of the beef on top of the bed of greens. Top with some freshly cracked black pepper and shavings of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately
- Place the slices of beef, one at a time, onto the serving plate, so that each piece slightly overlaps the piece that was put down before it. Arrange the slices of beef so that they form a large circle. Then place the arugula onto the centre of the beef slices. Add a few squirts of lemon juice and a few light drizzles of extra virgin olive oil to the arugula. Top with some freshly cracked black pepper and shavings of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- Using a rectangular serving plate, place the slices of beef, one at a time, onto one side of the serving plate, so that each piece slightly overlaps the piece that was put down before it. Arrange the slices of beef so that they form a circle over half of the plate. Then place a small mound of arugula on the other side of the plate. Add a few squirts of lemon juice and a few light drizzles of extra virgin olive oil to the arugula. Top the arugula with shavings of parmesan cheese. Add some freshly cracked black pepper to the entire dish and serve immediately.