If you love Carpaccio as much as I do, I think you will really like this recipe!
It is simple to prepare and if you make it for guests (and they are not vegans), they will be amazed at your skills!
You need to start with a very good quality piece of filet or beef tenderloin.
We use an aged balsamic vinegar to marinade it for just a short while.
The capers and lemon juice add to the acidity that the balsamic provides. This is very important to balance the flavor of the lightly cooked beef.
The Reggiano cheese also provides a necessary flavor to a traditional Carpaccio.
When we made this recipe we just placed it on a plate to serve it but Carpaccio is a natural served with fresh baby arugula (and it’s pretty!)
If your body thrives on protein like mine does, this is one of the healthiest appetizers that you can make.
Years ago, when we were in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, there was a restaurant on the Malecon called Mogambo. That restaurant is long gone unfortunately but I remember that it’s menu had probably 7 or 8 different types of Carpaccio. They had beef, salmon and tuna plus several more that I can’t remember now. They also had great sauteed mushrooms that had dried chile peppers in them. I will perfect that recipe and post it later.
Mogambo was the greatest restaurant because you could sit at one of the tables that was next to the big open windows overlooking the street below (the Malecon). Across that street is the Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Banderas). Between the street and the ocean is a wide sidewalk that is always full of people and vendors. Families walk with their children and enjoy the outdoors and the atmosphere after their workday. Vendors are all along the Malecon selling cotton candy, peanuts, and other snacks.
The sunset views from anywhere along the Malecon are just amazing. When a great sunset is happening, everybody stops what they are doing to watch.
Further down the Malecon towards the center of town there are artists selling what they have created- paintings, caricatures, pottery, and jewelry. There are also mariachis and other musicians. It is a very happy place and great for people watching.
We always stay at a hotel that is south of Puerto Vallarta. It is about 35 minutes from the airport. The hotel is called La Jolla de Mismaloya. It is now called Barcelo Mismaloya because it was bought by a corporation from Spain that specializes in unique hotel properties around the world.
This hotel sits on the property where they filmed the old movie Night Of The Iguana starring Richard Burton and ElizabethTaylor. The beach below the hotel is where we hang out the most. It is always great for people watching and to view PV’s gorgeous sunsets. We know many of the beach vendors because we have been going there for 20 years- there is Leo the tee shirt guy, Juanita the pie lady and many other vendors selling all kinds of things.
The restaurants that are located on the sandy beach are great too. The waiters all try to entice you into their restaurant’s area along the beach. The seating all runs together and the only way you can tell one from the other is by the chair or umbrella colors!
We made friends with the Bell Captain at La Jolla Mismaloya years ago and now consider Max to be a very dear friend. When we are in PV we always spend at least one full day with Max and go with him either to Sayulita which is a beautiful little town on the coast or to El Tuito where they make the moonshine tequila called raicilla.
Raicilla is made in very primitive stills up in the mountains. It has a very smoky flavor (kinda like charcoal briquets!) It is an acquired taste, it took me 5 or more years before I developed a taste for it. Raicilla is very strong because it is not distilled to the extent that traditional tequila is- it’s very primative! Most of the local men stay away from Raicilla because they have already had bad experiences with it. It is OK if you have one or two shots, sipped very slowly. If you have more than that you are on your own and will probably need help to move from your chair!
I shared this recipe with Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple.
1 pound good quality beef filet
Salt and pepper the beef and sprinkle all over with
2-3 Tblsp good quality balsamic vinegar
Let the beef marinate for 15-30 minutes then grill on a heated BBQ or broiler pan in your oven. You only want to sear it enough to make some nice char marks on the outside and cook it to a depth of about 1/4 of an inch to give the meat some texture. Some people like it cooked less- you decide what you like.
When beef is cooked, let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes then cut it into slices that are pretty thin but manageable.
Place the sliced beef on your serving plate and salt and pepper it lightly. Scatter with:
2 Tblsp shallots, sliced very thin (if they are “hot” then I sautee them in a pan with about 1/4 cup of water for a minute or so then rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly before using)
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tblsp capers, rinsed and drained
Squeeze lemon juice to taste over the beef and also serve with lemon wedges in case anybody wants more.
Drizzle 1-1/2 teaspoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil over the beef.
Grate a little bit of Reggiano cheese over everything
Sprinkle a few leaves of baby arugula over the top or maybe just place some on your individual plates before you serve the Carpaccio.
This will serve at least 4-6 people.
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