Friday, November 19, 2010


This is a very simple and delicious Italian appetizer! 
     There is an old story about the origins of carpaccio.  This recipe does originate in Venice, Italy.  They say the original carpaccio had a mustard sauce.  A lemon juice and virgin olive oil mixture has been the traditional sauce for carpaccio ever since.  Carpaccio is always served with fragrant peppery greens like arugula or watercress.  Shaved parmesan cheese always is sprinkled on the carpaccio.  A very light sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper over the meat is the only seasoning.
     You would think that beef tenderloin would be the choice cut for carpaccio.  Tenderloin is too bland of a flavor when it is raw.  The best cut of beef for carpaccio is the eye of the round.  Eye of round has a very full beef flavor.  Eye of round is very lean and can be very tough and chewy if cooked improperly.  The grain is very tight in the eye of round making it the traditional choice cut of beef for this recipe.  The eye of round must be sliced paper thin.  If the eyye of round is sliced too thick, then the eye of round slices will be unpleasantly chewy. 
     You need a razor sharp chef knife to slice meat this thin.  To slice the eye of round this thin, the meat must be partially frozen.
     Before slicing, trim off all excess fat and silver floss from the meat.  When you slice partially frozen meat, don't saw with the blade.  Press down and rock the knife blade slowly back and forth and watch the shaved slice of beef curl off of the blade. 
     Each slice of beef should be plated immediately after it has been sliced. 
     Overlap the beef slices on the plate.
     Set a small mound of watercress on the plate. 
     Lightly season the meat with sea salt and black pepper. 
     Drizzle some lemon juice and virgin olive oil over the meat and watercress. 
     Garnish with a lemon slice. 
     Sprinkle shaved parmesan cheese on the meat.
     The flavors of carpaccio are not complicated at all.  The peppery watercress is very nice with the beef's flavor.  Carpaccio is a simple, delicious light meal or appetizer.  By the way, this recipe was invented for a lady who frequented a Venetian cafe and it was named after a famous painter.  Yum!  Ciao Baby!   ...   Shawna

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