The secret to a truly stunning carpaccio lies in the sharpness of your knife, a vital tool in achieving the desired slivers of meat. Good quality beef is another important investment, as the flavour of the meat is largely left to speak for itself with minimal flavours and seasonings. As the majority of the preparation takes place the day before, this carpaccio recipe by William Drabble makes a fantastic dinner party starter that can be sliced up and served within minutes.
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For the beef carpaccio, place a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a high heat until it is very hot. Rub a little olive oil onto the beef, then add to the pan and very quickly sear the outside, turning over the fillet over throughout so that each side is coloured
400g of beef fillet, all fat and sinew removed
Transfer the beef to the fridge or freezer to cool it very quickly. Once cold, remove the fillet from the fridge and place it onto a piece of tin foil. Season the fillet with a lot of sea salt and pepper, then roughly chop the tarragon, parsley and thyme and spread the herbs all over the meat
4 sprigs of tarragon
4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
15g of thyme leaves, fresh
Once the meat has been evenly covered in herbs and seasoning wrap the beef tightly in the tin foil and put back into the fridge for 24 hours, allowing the meat to absorb all of the flavours of the herbs
Mix the red wine vinegar and sugar together in a bowl along with the sliced onions and leave them to marinate for 24 hours
2 red onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
4 tbsp of red wine vinegar
4 tbsp of sugar
After 24 hours remove the beef from the fridge and wipe off the herb coating with a piece of kitchen towel. Using a chopping board and very sharp knife slice the beef as thinly as possible, keeping the pieces whole if possible
For the salad, bring a small pan of water to the boil and cook the green beans for 2 minutes. Drain the beans, then refresh in iced water until cooled
100g of green beans
Drain the marinated red onions and mix with the beans and watercress in a bowl. Add a good amount of extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and season with salt to taste
1 bunch of watercress, any large stalks removed
1 lemon, juiced
To serve, arrange the carpaccio slices around the outside of a large serving plate - or individual plates, if preferred - and place the dressed salad in the middle
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