What is carpaccio?
The Italian starter, carpaccio (pronounced “karr-PATCH-oh”) originally consisted of wafer-thin slices of raw beef, served with capers and a dressing of mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and milk. Outside of Italy, the meat is served with arugula and Parmesan cheese – a Piedmontese dish that is called “carpaccio di carne cruda all’albese” in Italy.
Although both versions have an excellent flavour, the dish has now been added to and corrupted so many times that many versions of carpaccio appear on the Italian menu. Jamie Oliver, for example, just like many other chefs, prefers to fry the meat first; a method that will be appreciated by people who dislike the idea of raw meat. You don’t eat meat at all? No problem. There are now versions that are suitable for pescatarians and vegetarians, such as carpaccio of tuna, mushrooms or cauliflower.
Did you know...
This classic was created by Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice. Just like the Bellini, by the way, the famous cocktail made with peach juice and prosecco. Carpaccio was born in 1950 when a regular customer, an Italian contessa, was told by her doctor to eat a raw meat diet. Cipriani named the red-coloured dish after the fifteenth-century painter Vittore Carpaccio, who was known for using a lot of red in his paintings.
How to make carpaccio
A piece of beef tenderloin is cut into very thin slices. The slices are usually flattened first with a meat hammer before being placed slightly overlapping on a plate. A dressing of mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and milk is beaten and drizzled over the meat in an artful zigzag or diamond pattern.
Depending on the cook, capers are now sprinkled over it, or shredded Parmesan cheese and arugula leaves as a garnish.
How to eat
To this day, the classic dish is served in Harry’s Bar with a green salad.
Keep it classic and authentic by choosing a risotto to follow your carpaccio.