I just ate carpaccio!! And I liked it!
Note that this is not a picture of the one I had. But the concept is the same. Carpaccio is usually very thin slices of raw beef, although you can also do it with other meats and even fish (e.g. tuna). I tried it as it was being served up at my inlaws’ place for lunch and was surprised to find that I liked it. High quality meat is obviously a top priority in terms of texture and flavour, but the seasoning helps too: try lemon, vinegar, olive oil or chives as well as the standard salt and pepper.
The trick, too, is to slice it thinly enough to make it palatable. You can slice it manually with a sharp knife or use a meat slicer. Some recipes recommend slicing the meat while it’s still in a frozen or semi-frozen state to make this process easier.
It’s a big leap as a Brit to eat carpaccio when for years you’ve eaten your meat cooked well done. As I’ve now been living in France for nearly 4 years, I’ve weaned myself off this now and now always order meat medium rare. While not quite into “saignant” territory (this is how my husband always orders his meat, and the term is generally translated as ”rare’), I’m still happy to have tried carpaccio and liked it. A good standby in case of any awkward dinner party or restaurant situations, and not such a big leap now from steak tartare either. Or indeed from “saignant”!
Knowing that I now like this could also be helpful in other culinary spheres, such as Japanese food, where chunks of uncooked salmon are not an uncommon sight. And since we’re in all likelihood going to take a holiday to Japan in 2013 or 2014, I’d better get practising my sushi skills. In the meantime…bon appétit!