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Up your appetizer ante with this melt-in-your-mouth seasoned filet of beef carpaccio, enhanced with fruity olive oil, briny capers, and my tangy Pub Sauce.
Frankly, raw beef carpaccio is boring. In this method, I both season and sear the beef briefly. Even without the remaining ingredients, the meat is instantly more flavorful.
This beef carpaccio recipe with capers is anything from boring. Is the thought of uber-rare beef slightly unsettling? Allow me to dispel that fear!
I begin with THE BEST CUT of beef tenderloin filet I can afford. I am only looking for a pound, so finding a small-ish prime cut at my local big box club does not cost me an arm and a leg. Choose a big box club or butcher where you live who YOU know to have a reputation for extreme quality. It MATTERS with this recipe.
After bringing to room temperature and seasoning liberally, I add oil to a hot skillet and sear the tenderloin evenly to a nice brown color on all sides, yet is still rare in the middle. I then remove and let cool for 5 minutes. The seared filet is then wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerated overnight for the juices to redistribute and keep the entire filet fork tender. TIP: if you already plan to throw things on the grill, the ‘sear’ can be done over a hot grill element or coals at 450-to-500°F atop aluminum brushed with oil until well browned on all sides but rare in the middle.
When I am ready to assemble, I slice the beef carpaccio paper thin. I assemble on a large perfectly flat platter along with my Pub Sauce and either fresh microgreens or parsley from my garden. Pea shoots are stunning if you have them to use! Capers and a healthy drizzle of a high quality olive oil are added. I finish the dish with a pinch of smoked salt to counter the tangy Pub Sauce.
Carne cruda all’Albese, a Piedmontese dish, is one of the most famous of Italian antipasti.
Filet Of Beef Carpaccio With Capers is an absolutely elegant starter. It screams extravagance simply to see it on a platter. Super thin, melt-in-your mouth beef tenderloin is exalted with the addition of briny capers and a light, fruity olive oil. I adorn my platter with something earthy like parsley. Baby arugula also works well. The pièce de résistance is an aioli of sorts, my Pub Sauce. It’s tangy, sweet, and pairs PERFECTLY with beef.
Original Italian versions of this dish call for thin beef slices macerated in olive oil and lemon juice, adorned with arugula, freshly ground black pepper, and shavings of Parmesan cheese. I have also seen methods where Dijon mustard was whisked with the lemon juice prior to maceration. I consider myself au fait having visited France and enjoying a similar version of this dish in Béziers. This however was more along the lines of a beef carpaccio salad and was a completely raw steak dish.
Beef carpaccio is simplicity in itself. The search for the best quality ingredients that can be found is well worth it.
A simple and refreshing beef carpaccio that is perfect for summer. The key to success is to get the slices of beef as thin as possible. Helpful here is the method. Searing (or flash grilling) the filet over HIGH HEAT very briefly ensures the juices are encapsulated and “locked in.” But cutting meat this rare while still hot would not yield the thin slices were are looking for.
Here I go again about heavy gauge aluminum foil. Seriously, this stuff is indispensable for so many reasons. I wrap my still hot fillet in a sheet of this and really tighten the sides to press out any and all air pockets. I want for the juices to have nowhere else to go but back into the meat. And into the refrigerator it goes.
This next part is both good news and bad news…I won’t bother asking you which you’d rather hear first, ha! The bad news…you now have to wait 24 entire hours to taste this most delicious and classic of dishes. The good news…this is the ABSOLUTE EASIEST make-ahead elegant appetizer on the planet.
Assembling this starter requires a perfectly flat platter so that the Pub Sauce and olive oil will not ‘pool’ in the middle.
I first learned how wonderful this dish presents itself as ultra-sophisticated at a cocktail party I threw several years back. It’s a starter that ‘appears’ to take you a lot longer to prepare in the eyes of guests than it really does.
I scored a gorgeous side of Prime tenderloin at my big box club store just before the holidays. As many of you know, it is my family’s tradition to prepare a big Beef Tenderloin Roast for Christmas dinner.
I knew we would not eat the weight of the tenderloin I’d purchased so I butchered it to where I was left with five individual single pound filets along with my ten pound roast. I quickly tied off my roast with kitchen twine and set it aside to focus on the individual filets.
Given I was stop number one for a neighborhood holiday progressive dinner, I knew these gorgeous pieces of tenderloin were going to play an important part of establishing an upscale mood to kick off the night.
A good rule of thumb is one 12-inch flat serving platter or plate for every one pound of filet.
I seared my individual beef tenderloins the day before the progressive. I also grabbed five large platters, my best olive oil, and a jar of capers. Then, I got busy on a batch of my Pub Sauce. For those of you who’ve NOT tried this, you are missing out. Think ‘steak fry sauce or burger condiment,’ but waaaay better. Whoever said it couldn’t double as a carpaccio sauce?
What is a good sauce for carpaccio?
Really, any type of aioli, homemade Caesar dressing, Tonnato, Pub Sauce, or mayonnaise and Worcestershire thinned ever slightly with milk. The idea is to ONLY USE the tiniest drizzle. The beef should be the profile that stands out, the capers and the sauce lending steadiness and balance.
I’d previously tasted Tonnato atop fillet of beef carpaccio, but I also knew that tuna carpaccio sauce might throw some eaters off. So, I stuck with a simple beef carpaccio dressing that I knew everybody would enjoy. Tonnato sauce, aioli, and even a homemade Caesar dressing with freshly shaved Parmesan are great sauces for chilled food appetizers like Italian beef carpaccio.
You needn’t be a chef to pull off recipes such as this. Cooking has never been such a cheaters sport!
Carpaccio of beef tenderloin paired well with the house cocktail I chose to serve that evening. It also complimented a very large batch of Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters I fried up several days earlier and warmed in my oven. I was going for heavy hors d’oeuvres given the alcohol partygoers were sure to consume, so toasted some baguette slices to serve with my humble beef carpaccio appetizer.
Do you have what is needed for Filet Of Beef Carpaccio With Capers, Olive Oil and Pub Sauce? Check the list!
several teaspoons Kosher salt
several teaspoons black pepper
quality olive oil
fresh parsley, pea shoots, or baby arugula
toasted baguette rounds or store bought crostini for serving
For The Pub Sauce, You Will Need
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Filet Of Beef Carpaccio With Capers, Olive Oil and Pub Sauce
- heavy gauge aluminum foil
- cast iron skillet
- super sharp meat knife
- 1 pound beef tenderloin
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ⅓ cup capers drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup Pub Sauce get this recipe here
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- Season the tenderloin well with the Kosher salt, and black pepper. Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to the hot skillet and sear the tenderloin evenly to a nice brown color on all sides and all edges, yet still rare in the middle. Total time for the entire tenderloin to sear will be between 5 and 7 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove the tenderloin to a sheet of heavy gauge aluminum foil and let cool 5 minutes. Wrap tightly in the foil, eliminating and pressing any pockets of air. Refrigerate for 24 hours or until needed.
- Make the Pub Sauce and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare a 12-inch FLAT platter or plate for serving.
- Remove the well-chilled tenderloin from the aluminum to a cutting board. Using a sharp meat knife, carefully slice the filet as thin as you can.
- Drizzle some of the Pub Sauce on the bottom of the platter. This needs to be scant. Just here and there, but not covering the platter.
- Arrange the thin slices of carpaccio atop the platter. This should be an initial single layer. Anything left that does don cover the platter from side to side, end to end may be added as fill-ins. I try to bunch the carpaccio up slightly like ribbons versus lay it flat, but the look of it is up to you.
- Drizzle a bit more Pub Sauce. I like to drizzle here and there, but not over everything. I do this because I want for the olive oil to show also and that will not happen if the Pub Sauce is over everything. I chose to serve additional Pub Sauce on the side in a serving bowl with a little spoon.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Scatter the capers all over. Scatter the chopped parsley all over. Pea shoots or baby arugula may also be used. If using baby arugula, use sparingly. Purely optional, but finishing with a smoked salt imparts a nice balance. If you have smoked salt, a fine pinch will do but no more.
- Serve with toasted baguette rounds or store bought crostini similar to what I am using in my photos. If using store bought crostini, select a plain crostini over a flavored crostini. Again, the carpaccio is the star and should be the most pronounced profile.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.