Carpaccio is the ultimate Italian food experience, well at least for me. (I also think steak tartar is the ultimate French food experience!) It also should be the ultimate Caveman food experience…some raw meat, some greens…that’s about it. (maybe our Paleolithic ancestors also had a salt and pepper shaker in their fur vestment, like the Flintstones)
Carpaccio should be eaten cold, not freezing cold but nice and cool, like good sushi, so the meat is not warm and limp on your tongue, but crisp and fresh, pungent with a good olive oil ( I like Oilo Nuovo on my carpaccio), and the bite of the arrugula.
To make your life easier I recommend using a food slicer, to slice the carpaccio meat. It will give you that perfect paper thin cut every time, in a fraction of the time.
If you are worried about eating raw beef just make sure that you know the source of your beef! It should be strictly pastured, grass fed and finished, and possibly from your local farmer. Pastured animals, eating the diet they were designed to eat (grass NOT grains), moving freely around, and not being confined in large number just DO NOT harbor diseases. They do not need antibiotics, because their rumens are healthy and sound. They do not sit in their feces all day so the risk of E.Coli bacteria being present is much lower. I have eaten raw meat all my life and just by using this guidelines never had any problem.
From the nutritional point of view raw meat is also better for you than cooked: First of all raw meat does not contain carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which are compounds created by open flames or high heat.
Second and I think most important, heat denatures amino acid chains, making them difficult to digest and absorb in to the body. In fact people that only ever eat well done meat, might get protein deficient, or have problems with protein digestion. That is why most traditional cultures have raw meat recipes.
Last but not least heat destroys the enzymes present in the meat, which are also very important for digestion and absorption of nutrients.
As this is a dairy-free blog, I am theoretically not allowed to use the original recipe, which uses Parmesan cheese. I will suggest it as an option, though, because original Parmigiano Reggiano is a raw milk cheese naturally aged and it is actually very good for you if eaten once in a while!
- 8 ounces of grass-fed, grass-finished filet mignon or tenderloin, never frozen
- 1 bunch fresh organic Arrugula, washed and trimmed
- 4 tablespoons truffle infused extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- OPTIONAL: 1 cup Fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
- Place the meat in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will make it firm enough to slice with a sharp chefs knife or with a meat slicer.
- Slice thinly and divide the individual slices laying them on 4 individual plates.
- Arrange the arugula on top of the meat, dividing it equally
- Drizzle the oil on the plates, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
- If you are using cheese, arrange the shaved parmesan on top
- You can add extra freshly grated black pepper to garnish the top.
- Plates can be chilled in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.