Monday, 14 March 2016

Fillet carpaccio with anchovy mayonnaise, baby artichokes, broad beans and lemon

Hot on the heels of the scallop carpaccio ‘starter’ described in the last recipe on this blog, was a more traditional beef carpaccio ‘main’. It’s been that kind of day. When you get a deep craving for something, the best thing is to go big. Have it twice. As Gary Busey famously (!) cries in Point Break: “Give me two!”. I now feel satisfied with my carpaccio fill, and it will be a little while before it comes around again. In the meantime, I can go back to craving pasta. All of the time. 

As with the last recipe, this one was inspired by the flurry of amazing springtime ingredients. Okay, so you can get a fillet of beef pretty much all year round, but as soon as I saw baby artichokes and broad beans available, I knew they would be best friends. Also served raw, both vegetables possess enough subtle flavour and crunchy texture to hold their own, whilst not clouding the all-important (and bloody expensive, thank goodness it’s only a sliver) piece of meat. Although I’m always a sucker for the dead trad carpaccio with parmesan, rocket and oil, I fancied something a touch different and thankfully it worked a treat. Anything with a pile of anchovies chucked in normally does.
Today I discovered how making carpaccio really showcases the sharpness of your knives. In my case, I could have done a better job with a teaspoon. Blimey, what a mess. I love my knives, and they’re treasured and essential in my kitchen, but my god they’ve taken a pounding over the years. Perhaps it is time to finally send them back to the wonderful I O Shen to bring them back up to shape. In my next blog post I’ll no doubt be telling you how I no longer have any fingertips.
But my inadequate kitchen equipment was saved by the good and trustworthy rolling pin. They never let you down. They have just the one job, and they always rise to it. They never need sending back to the supplier. Here’s to the rolling pin! Anyway, the rolling pin made short work of making my frankly shite slices of beef serviceable again. Despite such bodging and faffery, the texture of the beef just melted away. So in that sense, this is truly a recipe that caters for any skill level.
Serves 2
200g of excellent quality, dry-aged fillet steak. Trimmed of sinew. 
2 baby artichokes 
3 broad beans 
1 Sicilian lemon, juice only
For the anchovy mayonnaise:
2 egg yolks 
1 garlic clove, grated 
½ tsp Dijon mustard 
1 Sicilian lemon, juice along with zest of half 
4 anchovies 
200ml vegetable oil
To finish:
A few bruscandoli shoots (optional) 
½ a Sicilian lemon, juice only 
Extra virgin olive oil

Wrap the trimmed beef fillet tightly with a couple of layers of cling film and pop in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. 

While the beef is freezing make the mayonnaise. Put the yolks, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice and zest and mustard into a small food processor along with a good pinch of seasoning. Blitz well to combine. With the engine still running, start to slowly pour in the vegetable oil. Continue to add the oil until it has all been emulsified, and you are left with a thick mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the seasoning and lemon, then spoon into a squeezy bottle. Set aside until needed.
Make a dressing by combining the juice of half a lemon with 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Pod and shell the broad beans and transfer to a bowl. Strip away the outside leaves from the artichokes and trim the top about 1 ½ cm down. Use a vegetable peeler to trim any hard bits away from the stem. Use a knife to thinly slice, then add to the same bowl as the broad beans. Immediately toss with the lemony dressing to stop the artichoke from discolouring. 

After an hour, remove the beef from the freezer and use a very sharp, long knife to thinly slice. If you want the carpaccio to be wafer thin, put each slice between pieces of greaseproof paper and flatten with a rolling pin.
To serve, arrange the meat slices onto each plate and dot on the anchovy mayonnaise. Scatter the broad beans, artichoke slices and bruscandoli over the top. Finish with a good glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a good pinch of seasoning.

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