My birthday week is officially winding down. It began last Saturday with a wonderful dinner, made especially for me. I have for three years in a row now requested that one of my favorite dishes, is made for my birthday dinner, Beef Carpaccio. And so because I believe that after three repeats of an event it becomes a tradition, Beef Carpaccio is now a Birthday Tradition.
When making Beef Carpaccio you’ll want to spring for a filet mignon that has been cut from beef tenderloin. Yes it’s pricey but one filet, when sliced very thinly, will go much farther. Here are the keys to making this extra special dish:
- Buy the freshest piece of beef you can find, preferably cut to order from the butcher.
- Filet Mignon is a very lean cut, however trim any visible fat around the edges. Dry filet with paper towels.
- Heat a tablespoon of high heat oil (such as canola or coconut) in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Sear filet on all sides (including edges) for about 20 seconds per side.
- Place filet on plate and transfer to freezer for 30 minutes, which is necessary in order to slice it thinly.
- Meanwhile, prepare toppings of shaved parmesan cheese, pan-fried capers, thinly sliced scallion and fresh spinach. We also serve ours with butter & garlic crostini.
- Remove filet from freezer. Using a very sharp knife slice beef as thinly as possible. Slices can then be placed between pieces of plastic wrap and pounded with a meat mallet for an even thinner result.
- Place slices on a chilled plate. Top with fresh spinach massaged with a drizzle of olive oil, salt & freshly cracked black pepper, shaved parmesan cheese, scallions and crispy capers. Serve with crostini.
It’s difficult to explain how buttery, tender and delicious each bite of beef is when prepared this way. I understand that rare/raw beef isn’t for everyone. Sashimi and Raw oysters weren’t for me until a few years ago, but now I approach them with appreciation and have learned to love them both. The first step in exploring dishes outside my comfort zone is to focus on its flavor, texture, and overall palate appeal. I’m not a candidate for one of those crazy, eat anything reality shows but I do want to sample delicacies with an open mind. Or at least I feel that way now ;)