Some of us don't think twice at the thought of eating sushi and sashimi. But raw meat? Sounds weird, but it's a standard in many Italian restaurants and fine-dining spots in South Florida. What makes carpaccio a delicacy and raw chuck repulsive?
"You want an extremely lean piece of meat for carpaccio," said Dave Crumbaker of Smitty's Old Fashioned Butcher Shop
. Fillet is what's traditionally used, though some restaurants shave meat from the eye of round. "It looks identical since it's a cylindrical cut, but eye of round is much, much cheaper," he said. And it has to be superfresh. How fresh? "It's Cryovac'ed when it arrives, so that helps," he said. But once it's unsealed, a chef has to shave and serve it to ensure he's not serving tainted meat.
Beef carpaccio is an easy enough and delicious starter, dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Though this version at Timpano
on Las Olas showcases a fried egg, I prefer the more luxurious poached rendition. Greens round out the dish.
Carpaccio isn't the only raw beef that's standard fare. Crumbaker says he grinds quite a bit of top round for steak tartare, which is served as an added punch of capers and Worcestershire sauce. For more-adventurous diners, next time you come across an Ethiopian joint, try the kitfo
, minced raw meat with a kick of spice.
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