is a simple dish, which allows the bold flavours of quality ingredients
to shine. It's fabulous as a starter or light lunch, and is relatively
quick and easy to make. Carpaccio is actually shavings of raw meat, and
it is said that the slices should be so ultra-thin that one should
almost be able to almost see the plate through them. The result is
delicate morsels, which have a vibrant flavour and almost melt in one's
Scroll down for 5 carpaccio recipes to wow your guests with this summer.
Traditionally carpaccio is made from a tender fillet of beef, but these
days it's becoming increasingly trendy to make carpaccio from game such
as venison. This is fantastic news for South Africans as we have a
cornucopia of game readily available at our fingertips, allowing us to
create more exotic interpretations of this great Italian dish using
local produce such as ostrich and kudu meat. However, whether you
decide to make beef or game carpaccio, make sure you use only the
finest fillet that is absolutely fresh.
Harry's bar is a Venetian institution and since its inception in 1931
it's been a place to see and be seen. The legendary writer Ernest
Hemingway was a regular, and the bar has not only been immortalised in
one of his novels, but in the writings of the celebrated romance author
Judith Krantz. Numerous celebrities have been spotted dining there,
however the bar is more than simply a place to star gaze, it's also an
important culinary landmark, for it was here that that two of the most
delectable 'modern' Italian classics were invented, namely the Bellini and carpaccio.
While the Bellini, a dreamy cocktail of peach juice and Italian champagne,
is definitely worth mentioning, it is carpaccio that has taken the
culinary world by storm and that has been imitated by restaurants
around the globe. Carpaccio was created by the proprietor of Harry's
bar, Giuseppe Cipriani, in 1961 for a countess whose doctor had put her
on a strict diet that forbid any cooked meat. Although created for a
countess, the dish was actually named for the famous Italian painter
Vittore Carpaccio. The painter was renowned for using vibrant reds in
his paintings, which one can only presume were reminiscent of the deep
red of carpaccio.
How to prepare:
Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you have to miss out,
carpaccio can also be made by thinly slicing sashimi-quality fish such
as salmon or tuna, or even fruits and vegetables.
There are a couple of different ways in which carpaccio can be
made, but regardless of which method you choose the key is to get the
slices of fillet ultra-thin. The most basic method is to simply slice
the raw fillet. Many recipes suggest freezing the fillet before carving
it; this makes it much easier to cut really thin slices.
Alternatively slice the fillet and place the pieces of meat between two
sheets of cling film, then gently hammer them out and roll over them
with a rolling pin until wafer-thin. An electrical meat-slicer similar to what is used when carving a big roast can also be used for carving.
The outside of the fillet can also be crusted with peppercorns
or other seasonings and seared before slicing. Searing the fillet gives
carpaccio the impression of being rare meat rather than raw meat, and
this is perhaps the best way to introduce carpaccio to those who have
never eaten it before. You may be able to convince your butcher to
slice the seared fillet for you using a biltong slicer. This doesn't
always produce the neatest slices of carpaccio, but it does guarantee
you'll end up with thin slices of meat without risking your fingers.
All that's left to do is to artistically arrange the slices of
carpaccio on a plate, scatter with capers and onion slices or Parmesan
shavings and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, a vinaigrette or a
light mayonnaise or mustard dressing. Pile up some salad in the middle
of the plate, carpaccio goes fantastically well with peppery greens
like watercress and rocket, and serve with some fresh ciabatta bread or
5 Carpaccio recipes
Marina's ostrich carpaccio
Halloumi and beef 'carpaccio' salad with fried capers
Kudu carpaccio salad
Beef carpaccio with red hot pesto