What is Carpaccio?

Christine Albury

You've probably seen it on several menus - but just what is carpaccio? Find out here, plus read our tips for making your own!

If you love Italian food you may have seen carpaccio listed as an appetizer and wondered what it is.

Carpaccio Photo

Carpaccio is a simple yet delicious dish! Raw beef is sliced as thin as paper and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

You may also find it topped with capers and sometimes thinly sliced onion. Whilst this is the traditional way to serve carpaccio, you can find other kinds of meats or fish served this way.

How to make your own carpaccio

Impress your guests at your next dinner party by serving carpaccio! It’s easy to make and will be the highlight of the evening.

Head to your butchers and ask for either beef sirloin or tenderloin for carpaccio to ensure you have the best cut. Start out by trimming the fat off the meat.

Carpaccio Picture

Some restaurants serve carpaccio seared, although this isn’t traditional. So, this step is entirely optional, but you can briefly sear the meat on all sides if you wish.

Generously season the beef with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Our favorite herbs to use for this are parsley, tarragon and cilantro, plus a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours to seal in the flavors. 

The easiest way to slice the meat as thinly as required for carpaccio is to use an electric meat slicer.

Carpaccio Image

If you are skilled with using a knife and have one that is incredibly sharp, you can slice it by hand - but this is not easy.

If you are struggling to slice the meat, even when using a slicer, place it into the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will harden it slightly and make it easier to slice.

To serve, top with capers and thinly sliced onions.

We actually love to sauté the capers in a little olive oil for just a few minutes before topping the carpaccio.

Drizzle some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice over the carpaccio. Parmesan shavings are also a delicious addition! 

Alternatives to beef for making carpaccio

As mentioned previously, carpaccio doesn’t have to be made with just beef!

Why not give seafood carpaccio a try? We recommend using either sushi grade salmon or fresh tuna.

Rather than topping with capers and onions, jalapeños and a drizzle of soy sauce make the perfect accompaniment instead.

Carpaccio Pic

If you like traditional carpaccio but want to get creative with the meat, you can try using lamb, veal or venison, but just ensure you opt for high quality cuts as the meat will be consumed raw. 

You can even make a vegetarian style carpaccio! Our favorite veggies for this include beets, carrots, artichokes and radishes topped with pine nuts, croutons, pumpkin seeds and olive oil.

We recommend toasting the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds to add a depth of flavor. Delicious! Use a mandolin to slice the veggies paper thin. 

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!

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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!