Dictionary

Carpaccio

Carpaccio is a type of appetiser dish that originated in Italy. It is made from thinly sliced, raw meat or fish. The first carpaccio was served in 1950 by Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice. Traditional carpaccio consisted of raw beef served with lemon, olive, oil, white truffle, and parmesan, topped with capers or onions. Today, carpaccio is popular all over the world and typically includes any raw fish or meats that are flavoured with lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

History of carpaccio

The first carpaccio was inspired by a Piedmont dish named carne cruda all’albese. Giuseppe Cipriani, who was a wealthy entrepreneur and owner of Harry’s Bar, made the dish for his friend countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo. The countess was advised by doctors to consume a diet of raw meat and avoid fried or cooked meats. Giuseppe served the countess thin slices of raw meat topped with a sauce made from mayonnaise, mustard, and oil.  The meal received the name of carpaccio after a Venetian painter, Vittore Carpaccio. The painter was known for having red and white paintings that beat a similar colour palette to the dish of raw meat. Since 2001, the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs has declared Harry’s Bar a national landmark thanks to its contribution of carpaccio.

 

How to prepare carpaccio

Beef is the most popular meat used to make carpaccio. The best cut to use is sirloin or tenderloin – the higher quality meat, the better tasting carpaccio you will make. When purchasing meat for carpaccio, it is a good idea to notify your butcher that you are buying it for that means. He will provide the best cut of meat available. Once you have the meat, the fat must all be removed. While carpaccio is about eating raw meat, some chefs still like to sear the sides of the meat before seasoning it.

Next, flavour is added with salt and pepper, freshly chopped herbs like parsley, coriander, or tarragon, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The meat is wrapped in plastic and left to chill for at least 8 hours. You can then start slicing the meat. Because carpaccio is so thinly sliced, an electric meat slicer is the best method for slicing the meat. You can, however, use a sharp knife and attempt to slice it yourself. Colder meat is easier to slice. That said, you never want to cut frozen meat.

Finally, arrange the sliced meat on a platter and top it with capers, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of shaved parmesan. White truffle can be used in place of parmesan, providing a similar umami flavour. Carpaccio can also be served on a bed of leafy greens, such as watercress, endive, rocket, or radicchio. Rocket is the most prized green to accompany carpaccio as it adds a peppery kick to the flavour. Chives are also used in certain preparations.

What’s the difference between carpaccio and tartare?

Some people may be confused about the difference between carpaccio and steak tartare. Both dishes consist of raw meat, however they are different in their preparations. The prime difference is that carpaccio is made from thinly sliced beef tenderloin while tartare is made from pounded, minced, or chopped meat. Another difference is the accompaniments to the two dishes. Carpaccio is usually served with a small amount of vinaigrette that is typically made from lemon juice, salt, pepper, mustard, and parmesan. On the other hand, tartare is generally served with stronger flavours like raw egg yolk. Other flavours like capers, onions, or Worcestershire sauce are typically mixed in with the meat itself.