Friday, September 30, 2011

Carne Cruda all'albese

There's a dish I've probably eaten more of in the last few weeks than I have in all the previous years combined. I enjoyed the versions of it I found in Paris and now in Piemonte, you'll find it just about on every menu. You'll know it by its more familiar name steak tartare but here it's called carne cruda.

For steak tartare, the cut of meat most commonly used is eye fillet, which although tender isn't the most flavoursome piece of meat. For carne cruda, you use "fesa di vitello" or veal breast. To get exactly the right type of meat I've returned to my favourite butcher. After explaining what I wanted to make and for how many, he gave a nod and a smile as he headed to his special glass doored fridge in the wall to retrieve the veal breast. A minute or so later, it was done and I had this beautiful array of finely sliced veal before me.

sliced veal breast© by Haalo

Carne cruda needs to be chopped by hand and with the meat sliced in this way, this is an easy task to do. Seasoning is simple - sea salt, ground pepper, mustard and olive oil - and with such simple ingredients, the quality of each one will come through in the final product.

One final flourish to take it from everyday Carne Cruda to Carne Cruda all'albese - a generous shaving of white truffle of course!

Carne Cruda all'albese© by Haalo

Carne Cruda all'albese
[Serves 2]

200 grams finely sliced veal breast
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
finely shaved white truffle

Lay the slices of veal atop of each other and then cut into strips. Turn the strips 90 degrees and cut into small cubes. Continue cutting until you have a finely minced mixture - some versions of this dish are so finely cut they are almost like paté.

Season the meat with salt, pepper, mustard and olive oil - you'll really need to taste this as you go along to get the balance right.

Arrange the meat on a plate to form a disc - sprinkle over with a little extra salt, pepper and olive oil and this finish with shavings of white truffle.

Carne Cruda all'albese© by Haalo

Serve with slices of bread and a simple green leaf salad if desired.

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