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How to make carpaccio of beef

Beef carpaccio is a classic Italian dish that involves minimal cooking and makes an elegant starter or lunchtime dish. Because the beef is being served raw, choose top quality meat that has been hung for a good period of time to improve flavour and texture. Rare breed beef will give a great result, as these cows tend to have a slightly deeper flavour and are less intensively farmed, producing better-quality meat. The most commonly used cut for carpaccio is the centre of the fillet, although sirloin can be used for a more intense flavour.

This delicious carpaccio by Paul Welburn adds plenty of flavour, but you can keep it as simple as you like.

Ingredients

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Method

1
Whisk together the olive oil, Dijon mustard, thyme and garlic until combined. To make the spice rub, lightly crush together the pink sichuan and black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar with the thyme leaves and spread out on a tray
2
Trim the ends and all sinew away from the meat, then smother in a mixture of Dijon mustard, thyme and olive oil (or other ingredients for a different flavour) and roll in the crushed peppercorns
3
Tightly wrap the beef in cling film, keeping the cylindrical shape as symmetrical as possible, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up
4
Unwrap the beef and sear in a very hot pan wit a dash of oil, just to seal the outside
5
Wrap tightly in cling film again and place in the freezer for 1 hour to make slicing easier
6
Remove the fillet from the freezer and slice as thinly as possible, about 2mm. Leaving the cling film on makes this easier, but make sure you remove any left on the slices
7
Place the slices of beef between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll with a rolling pin to make them even thinner, then store in the fridge until ready to serve

Uses

Beef carpaccio is often served simply with a drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of salt and pepper to not overwhelm the flavour of the meat. But you can garnish a carpaccio with other ingredients; Theo Randall's version includes walnuts, creamy Gorgonzola and Treviso lettuce.

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