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Carpaccio is a satisfying first course when followed by a wild mushroom stew or a simple pasta. In this version, the beef is pounded thin rather than sliced. Like steak tartare, carpaccio requires fresh, naturally raised meat from a reputable butcher.

Yield : Serves 4


  • 10 ounces lean center-cut beef tenderloin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 or 5 salt packed anchovies, rinsed, filleted, and covered in a little olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 lemon


Thoroughly trim the beef of any fat, connective tissue, and oxidized surfaces. With a sharp knife, slicing thinly across the grain, cut 8 equal slices, each about 1 ounce. Lightly oil two sheets of parchment or wax paper (we use the 9-inch parchment circles sold in pastry supply shops). Place 2 slices of beef side by side on one of the oiled sheets. Lay the second sheet, oiled side down, over the beef. With a heavy mallet, pound down and toward you, letting the weight of the mallet flatten the meat. Rotate the parchment and continue pounding gently. As the meat gets thinner, use lighter strokes to avoid tearing or pounding too thin. Flatten enough to form a 9-inch circle. Hold the package up to the light to make sure the meat is uniformly thin.

Repeat to make the remaining 3 portions. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the garnish ingredients.

To serve, remove the top sheets of paper from the pounded meat. Invert the carpaccio portions onto four chilled 9-inch plates, and carefully peel back the remaining paper sheets. Lightly season each portion with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cut the anchovy fillets in half lengthwise and arrange 4 or 5 pieces randomly over the meat. Sprinkle with the capers and parsley. Use a vegetable peeler to shave large curls of Parmesan cheese over each serving. Finish with a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges.

Other garnish options: Omit the Parmesan, and sauce with strong Dijon mustard, either plain or thinned with crème fraîche. A little finely diced shallot, macerated briefly in lemon juice or vinegar, adds a nice spark and refreshing crunch.

© 1999 Alice L. Waters

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information includes 1/2 ounce of shaved Parmesan Cheese per serving.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

304kcal (15%)
636mg (26%)
24g (37%)
9g (43%)
61mg (20%)
37mcg RAE (1%)
22mg (37%)
193mg (19%)
1mg (8%)

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