Carne Cruda All’Albese

Carne All'Albese

Carne All’Albese

In other parts of the world finely minced raw beef served at table is called steak tartare, and they crack an egg into it. Piemontesi instead prefer lemon juice and olive oil, and you should try this even if you think you don’t like raw meat, as it can be a rare treat indeed.

The quality of the meat is of course paramount to the success of Carne Cruda all’Albese, and, considering the horrid bugs that occasionally strike those who use commercially slaughtered meats, selecting it properly is very important. You want a thick, whole piece of beef filet. Filet because it’s tender enough, and whole because the bacteria that can cause food poisoning can’t penetrate a whole piece of meat — they stay on the surface. When you get it home, quickly sear it on all sides — you’re just killing whatever’s on the surface, not cooking the meat. Then remove it from the flames, trim away the seared sections, and you’re ready to proceed.

Assuming your trimmed piece of meat weighs a pound (about 450 g), you’ll need:

  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • Olive oil
  • Two cloves garlic, crushed flat
  • Salt and pepper
  • A white truffle (optional)
  • A rinsed, boned and minced salted anchovy (optional)

 

Chop the meat very finely with a long-bladed knife. Don’t use a grinder, because the texture will suffer.

Put the meat in a bowl and mix the lemon juice into it, together with the garlic, and season abundantly with olive oil (as much as the lemon juice or perhaps more), salt and pepper. If you are using the anchovy add it now.

Let the meat sit, for between 10 minutes and two hours — the longer it sits the more the pinkness will fade, as the lemon juice cooks the meat. Purists prefer shorter sitting times.

In any case, once it has sat, mix it again, removing the garlic when you do, put it on a serving dish, dot it with finely shaved truffle if you’re using it, and serve it as an antipasto. Some people also serve it with tiny pickles, and others dot it with thinly sliced wild mushrooms if they don’t have a truffle.

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Categories: Antipasti and Starters, Carni Piemontesi, Piemontese Meats

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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