Beef carpaccio—Italian-style raw beef pounded thin and dressed—might seem like something you only find in restaurants. However, it is extremely simple to make at home. Obviously, there's no cooking involved. The key is to use the best quality meat you can find from a reputable market or butcher.
Almost inevitably these days, carpaccio in restaurants is topped with arugula and shaved Parmesan. Sometimes it even comes dressed with balsamic. However, classic carpaccio is dressed quite simply with nothing more than good olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
This recipe makes a great appetizer for four people.
1 lb. boneless top round beef, sliced thin if possible
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, halved
Trim the meat of as much fat, sinew, and any discoloration as you can. Chill to make the meat easier to slice.
Slice the meat (you could have your butcher do this) into 1/4-inch-thick slices and then into 3 ounce (more or less) pieces.
Place the sliced beef on a layer of parchment paper drizzled with olive oil (do this in batches) and place another piece of parchment on top.
Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy pan or skillet, pound the beef pieces outward from the center, until the thickness is about 1/16 inch.
Refrigerate the pounded beef until ready to serve.
Place the beef carpaccio on a serving platter, with pieces slightly overlapping.
"Dress" the carpaccio with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt to taste, and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
Optional: Top the carpaccio with fresh arugula and shaved Parmesan.
Photos by Ted Scheffler