Friday, 20 September 2013

The Original Carpaccio Cipriani

While raw beef salad served as an appetizer has long been a part of the Italian cuisine, its name made headlines sometime in the 1950s. The Carpaccio Cipriani was a recipe of Giuseppe Cipriani, the man who named it after the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio. The appetizer was a signature dish served at Harry’s Bar in Venice owned by Mr. Cipriani. Now his son, Arrigo Cipriani, himself a chef, has taken on the Cipriani family tradition and demonstrates their recipe.

Get the best quality beef you can find since it’s the core of the dish. For easier handling, the chef suggests freezing the meat first in the freezer for an hour or so until it firms up. Doing so speeds up the slicing since the delicious meat is firm already. The meat is sliced paper thin, as if it was prosciutto, so that its drapes and folds look more attractive on the plate. It also helps in the eating of this raw appetizer.

To douse on top of the beef slices, a combination of creamy mayonnaise is spiced up with mustard and Worcestershire. It’s a perfect mix of creamy, tangy and spicy which complements the beef. The chef uses homemade mayonnaise for a creamier and richer sauce which is incomparable with the commercial variety.

Make your own mayonnaise by combining in a blender or food processor the following: egg, lemon juice and mustard. Blend until smooth. Then over low speed, stream the olive oil until the mixture emulsifies and thickens. Season with some salt and pepper. Mix with the other ingredients in the carpaccio sauce as usual.

To serve, mix the carpaccio with a plate of mesclun greens, most notable the spicy and refreshing arugula with olive oil dressing. The nutty and bitter flavor of the arugula balances the raw meatiness of the cold beef. Serve this appetizer chilled and pair with a glass of Chianti rouge.

3/4 lbs. beef fillet
3.5 oz. mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup milk
1/2 lb. arugula or mesclun (chervil, arugula, leafy lettuces, and endive in equal proportions) salad
cold-pressed olive oil
1 celery branch
1.8 oz. parmesan cheese

1. Slice the raw beef filets very thinly. Arrange on a plate forming a concentric circle. Chill in the fridge.

2. Prepare the dressing. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, and milk until creamy in consistency. Season with the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

3. Bring out the chilled beef slices then drizzle with a generous amount of the freshly mixed sauce.

4. To serve, arrange a bed of mesclun greens, including arugula. Sprinkle with thin slices of celery and shavings of parmesan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and the carpaccio sauce. Serve with the carpaccio.

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