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The success of this dish relies on the quality of the ingredients. You want melt-in-your-mouth beef that is good enough to eat raw. Get your butcher to slice it superthin. This is also where you want excellent Parmigiano-Reggiano and your best olive oil. Each component will help make a carpaccio that's out of this world. It can be served two ways: Just on a dish like a classic carpaccio, or on a big crostoni—toasted or grilled bread.
Pour some olive oil in a pan and heat it up. When it's hot, add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, just enough to flavor the oil. Then, put in your beef: You can tear the slices up into smaller pieces or keep them whole. Flash-fry them so that the meat is not fully cooked.
On a serving dish, spread out your arugula and lay the warm, semi-cooked beef right on top. Then, on go the shavings of Parmigiano, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper and a really good drizzle of olive oil. I'm never afraid of overdoing it with olive oil, especially with the good stuff, because you can mop it up with some bread.
For something more casual and "snacky," lay your arugula on a piece of toasted or grilled bread and then layer on a few slices of the carpaccio and a shaving of Parmigiano, oil, lemon juice, etc. This is where adding more olive oil makes sense, because the bread is going to soak it up.
Excerpted from Made in Italy (Clarkson Potter) by David Rocco.
Published on November 08, 2011