Beef carpaccio has always been a favourite entrée of mine; paper-thin, tender slices of rare beef fillet, with a delicious dressing and fresh herbs and salad – if it’s on the menu in a restaurant there’s a very good chance I’ll order it!
The Japanese do their own style of carpaccio called ‘Beef Tataki’, and this recipe is my take on it, with a tangy dressing of citrus and soy sauce. If you’re not into having completely rare (or blue) beef, you can cook it medium-rare. Now to the question of how you get those slices so perfectly round and thin? Well, there’s a little trick to that – you need to wrap the beef in cling film, and then freeze it which makes it easy to cut super-thin slices and keep it chilled. This dish is a great one to show off your skills in the kitchen if you’re having a dinner party, and it can all be prepared in advance.
- beef eye fillet 500g (try to get a thinner, longer piece if possible)
- baby radishes 2-3, very thinly sliced
- granny smith or Braeburn apple ½, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
- carrot ½, shredded or cut into very fine matchsticks (optional)
- coriander leaves small handful
- freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice 1/3 cup
- light soy sauce 1/3 cup (use tamari for gluten-free)
- sesame oil 2 teaspoons
- mirin or sugar 2 teaspoons
- extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon
- shallot 1, finely chopped
- red chilli 1, finely chopped (optional)
- Heat a little oil in a fry pan on medium to high heat. Season eye fillet with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sear for 45 seconds on all sides, so the middle is still rare. Remove and set aside to rest (and cool) for 10 minutes. Lay a piece of cling film, about an arm’s length, out on the bench and wrap eye fillet up in a nice cylindrical shape, twisting the ends of the cling film to secure. Freeze wrapped eye fillet for at least 3 hours until very firm.
- Remove cling film from eye fillet and slice very thinly with a sharp knife (slice as thinly as you can). Note: If it has been frozen overnight, allow it to thaw for 20 minutes on the bench so it is easier to slice.
- To make the dressing, combine the lime or lemon juice, soya sauce, sesame oil, mirin or sugar, extra virgin olive oil, shallot and chili.
To assemble, lay slices of beef and radish around plates, slightly overlapping. Place a small pile of watercress, carrot and apple in the middle and spoon over a couple of tablespoons of the dressing over the beef. Serve immediately – the beef will be at the perfect temperature, it should be cold but not frozen.