I know this dish calls for fillet of beef which is an expensive cut, but I think this is cancelled out by the fact that this recipe is super easy and unbelievably scrumptious.
With meat, there are a few options:
- You can buy a super cheap cut, and then cook it for a long time until it is melt-in-the-mouth tender.
- Or… you can buy an expensive cut which is melt-in-the-mouth tender from the outset.
Of course, there are in between cuts, but this is a general rule.
This beef carpaccio is a great option for when you want something to be simply delicious with minimal effort from you and which has maximum impact.
For a special occasion, I think this served as a starter is a real winner.
- 300g beef fillet (nice thick centre piece if you can get it)
- 2 tablespoons of tiny capers
- 4 tablespoons horseradish sauce
- 100 parmesan, shavings
- 3 handfuls of rocket, or watercress ( something firey is good… I also used pea leaves because I’m totally obsessed with them and think they are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.)
- 100ml truffle oil (I use extra virgin olive oil flavoured with White truffle – La Espanola from sainsbury’s….its amazing drizzled on pretty much anything….mushroom risotto, pasta…and it wont break the bank)
- 20g chives
- edible flowers (optional)
- Begin by with a nice sharp knife. If you don’t have one already I would really recommend buying a knife sharpener or a steel. Buy one of these little beauties and your cooking will improve by 100% I promise!
- Slice the beef fillet into thin slices – as thin as you can, but don’t stress too much about this as you will see in the next step.
- Next, spread out a large piece of cling film and lay your fillet slices on to it.
- Then cover this with another piece of cling film….a bit like you are tucking the slices up into bed.
- Then, if you have a rolling pin, gently roll over the fillet slices and with very little effort they will flatten out. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can gently smoosh the pieces a little with your fingers, or even use a chopping board, sauce pan…your shoe (actually maybe not your shoe) to gently press down on the beef.
- Peel back the cling film and scatter a generous pinch of Maldon salt over the beef. Ta dah….the hard bit is done!
- Now you just have to assemble your dish. I love starters that are made for sharing, so I like to make up one big plate of this and then everyone can tuck in, but you could easily do individual portions of this and they will be lovely too!
- Begin by dotting the horseradish into splodges (technical chef term) like this.
- Then use a spoon to drag the splodges.
- Next, arrange your beef on the plate, I think it looks great if the beef isn’t completely flat, so you want to try and get some height, so you can kind of curl them up a bit.
- Then scatter the capers on the top.
- Arrange your salad leaves.
- In a jar, glass, little bowl, chop/snip your chives and add the Olive oil with truffle, and grind in some black pepper. Give this a good stir and then use a tea spoon to drizzle this all over the dish. Do this using the spoon from a height and stop when it all looks coated but not drenched. Think light April shower not Indian Monsoon.
- At this point I also scatter some edible flowers, these are marigold petals and nasturtium flowers to add some colour (but don’t panic if you don’t have these, they are optional)
- Then use a vegetable peeler to shave your parmesan into lovely thin ribbons and scatter these over the dish and arrange them strategically to make it look beautiful.
Take to the table, and maybe theatrically wipe your brow to show you have been slaving away in the kitchen…they don’t have to know it took you 5 minutes.