Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Seared Carpaccio

This dish is such easy entertaining, whether it's a summer patio or a winter buffet. I often make it when I need a snazzy appetizer but don't have a lot of prep time on the day of dinner. It's mostly made ahead and sliced just at serving time.

Choose a good cut of beef (such as steak or tenderloin) that is uniformly 3/4 to 1 inch thick. I like to serve it as pictured with cherry tomatoes, scattered with arugula and shaves of parmesan cheese, along with a good sliced bread.

1 clove garlic
1 tsp rock salt
8 peppercorns
3 juniper berries (optional)*
1 handful of mixed fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley
1 tbsp vegetable oil + more for cooking
1 lb beef steak such as sirloin or flat iron

1. Smash together the garlic, salt, peppercorns and juniper berries until it's a crushed mush.

2. Finely chop the herbs and smash into the garlic mixture. Stir in 1 tbsp of oil to make a paste. Taste and add more salt, pepper or herbs as needed.

3. Rub the herb mixture onto all sides of the steak. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to marinate.

4. Bring meat to room temperature before cooking.

5. Coat a cast iron frying pan with oil. Heat on high ~ I set the burner to level 8 out of 10. Or you can heat the grill.

6. Set the steak in the pan (or on the grill) and sear all sides, a few minutes per side, until the surface is well cooked but the inside is not. It will be spring-y when pressed with a finger.

5. Cool, wrap in foil or plastic and refrigerate.

6. With a sharp knife, shave the beef across the grain into thin slices. Arrange on a plate. Serve cold.

* I pick juniper berries when I go for a walk, say, at Cranberry Flats or along Saskatchewan Crescent. Pick them in the fall or winter when the berries are dark blue and crumbly.

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