The origin of carpaccio dates back to the 1950s when Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of Harry’s Bar in Venice, invented a dish for his friend Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo. The doctors had banned cooked meat from the woman and so Cipriani thought of a recipe for her based on raw meat, the carpaccio. In honor of the famous painter Vittore Carpaccio, who in that period was the protagonist of an exhibition at the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Giuseppe Cipriani chose that name. To the owner of Harry’s Bar, the color of raw meat reminded the intense tones of the painter’s paintings.
Although over the years several versions have been invented with fish, the carpaccio is a dish based on raw meat that is normally seasoned with an emulsion, vegetables or other elements that must not be so strong as to hide the pleasure of the main ingredient. So, to prepare a good carpaccio, there are basically two rules to follow: the meat must be very fresh and of first quality, the seasonings must not be too aggressive.
When it comes to the classic carpaccio recipe there are two possibilities. In one case we refer to Cipriani carpaccio with mayonnaise, Worcester sauce and milk, in another to the traditional veal carpaccio with rocket and parmesan cheese that we all know. In any case, simplicity must win, because as Giuseppe Cipriani, who invented this dish, explains: “With carpaccio, cheating is forbidden. Its secret is in being entirely unveiled, naked as mother did it”.
Ingredients: 300 g raw beef fillet, 1 cup mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons fresh tomato puree, 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce, 5 tablespoons cream
Preparation: cut the raw fillet very finely and place the slices on plates. Mix mayonnaise, tomato puree, mustard, Worcester sauce and cream together thoroughly. Pour the sauce in strips over the meat or spread it evenly with the spoon back. Serve the carpaccio.
Variations: garnish the carpaccio with porcini mushroom slices, truffle slivers, parmesan pieces or rocket or pour a sauce of oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper over it.