Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Beef Carpaccio with Chocolate Balsamico

I associate certain periods, places or events in my life with food. The same way a favorite songs can take you back, 2004 was my year of jerusalem artichoke soup, oysters will always mean the autumn of 2005 in Berlin (at the KaDeWe osyter bar), 2006 was pannacotta and creme brulee/catalan/caramel and 2007 is turning out to be the year of the beef carpaccio for me. I have been following the 'They Go Really Well Together' online gastronomy challenge and when I discovered that this round's challenge is to combine chocolate and meat I knew what I had to do. Presenting "Beef Carpaccio with Chocolate Balsamico Reduction"...

Beef Carpaccio with Chocolate Balsamico Reduction
For the chocolate balsamico reduction: Heat 1 cup of good balsamic vinegar on medium heat until boiling. Then, simmer for 30 about minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of pure cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tsp sugar until dissolved and combined and let cool.

For the carpaccio: Slice 1 pound of bright red raw beef sirloin into very, very thin slices. You can get them properly paper-thin by then pounding the slices between two sheets of wax paper. Arrange the slices out flat on a serving plate.

Drizzle the carpaccio generously with truffle oil, sprinkle with good sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss over a handful of argula, and grate a wedge of parmigiano reggiano in delicate flakes over it. Drizzle the chocolate balsamico reduction over everything for the finishing touch. Verdict: The nutty/peppery argula really adds something to this dish and seems to marry the chocolate balsamico with the savory truffle and cheese. The beef just melts on your tongue. Delicious! Chocolate and meat DO go really well together if I am to judge by this dish.

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