Sous Vide: Safe (pasteurized) Carpaccio

Carpaccio is a raw beef dish named after an Italian artist enamored of vivid red shadings. Sous vide pasteurization adds a layer of safety.

Ingredients

Level of difficulty: 2.25

Beef strip loin, start with a piece weighing at least 1 lb/450 kg to allow for trimming.
Cherry tomatoes, as needed.
Parmigiana Reggiano, as needed
Extra virgin olive oil, a few drops.
Lemons, 1 wedge.

Romaine lettuce, as needed.
EVOO, as needed, a drizzle.
Balsamic syrup, a few drops.

French bread–we used crisped baguette.

Equipment requirements

Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Channel or chamber vacuum device.
Mechanical slicer or slicer knife.

Procedure:

Set the sous vide bath to

129 F/54 C.

Stage the strip loin into a dedicated vacuum bag. Seal and sous vide process for 6 hours. This will pasteurize/preserve the protein. Submerge the unopened package in iced water until 70 F/21 C is achieved–this usually takes about 15 minutes. Remove the protein from the bag and discard or save the juices. FREEZE the strip loin until it achieves approximately 15 F/-9 C. Chefs do this routinely to make the beef easy to slice thin–either manually or mechanically.

The alternative is to refrigerate the sirloin to 40 F/4 C after cold shocking. Put thin slices of the beef between sheets of plastic wrap and tap with a wooden mallet until they are the desired thickness. They can be frozen until service so the plastic comes right off. There are other ways to accomplish this–these are the easiest that I have come across.

Finishing and service

Refrigerate a large plate until it achieves 40 F/4 C. Set on a work space and start by slicing one piece of the beef. Arrange each piece of beef on the plate as you slice them, one by one. They should just touch each other, but not overlap.

This will make a huge difference in the final appearance of the dish–the original presentation looked flat like a painting, but nothing is engraved in stone.

We have created a few variations.

The other ingredients are intended to evoke the relief/altitude created by applying thick brush strokes of paint to the artist’s work.

Grind black pepper over the Carpaccio. Place the lemon wedge and a small section of bread on the rim and serve immediately.

Above: “Kitchen Sink” Carpaccio.

This is a truly unique dish. Somehow, the Italians have synergized their cuisine to include an almost sushi-like characteristic.

Enjoy!

Norm King

About

Many people consider Carpaccio to be an ancient, classical dish--even though it originated in Venice circa 1950. Conceived using raw beef, the Italians themselves now attach the name to almost anything that is somewhat red and sliced extremely thin--ahi tuna, octopus, salmon, even beets and other vegetables. Sometimes the products used are not even red and the loose definition becomes simplified to merely indicate the meager thickness.
By contrast, many Americans interpret the term much more strictly and scoff at the idea of using anything other than beef. We will avoid controversy by utilizing sous vide processed sirloin--pasteurization eliminates the occasional concern for food safety.

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