A Celebration of the Trim Bits
Before his successful career as a yacht chef, before launching Montana Mex, before the accident that cost him most of his left arm, before the publicity and appearances with Katie Couric and Chef Mario Batali, before being coined the “Bionic Chef,” and before his television show with Magnolia Network, Chef Eduardo Garcia was an 18-year-old student in culinary school working at a Latin restaurant in Seattle.
“This recipe—carpaccio—goes back to being 18 in a big-city restaurant. That was the first time I saw someone eating raw red meat,” says Eduardo. “It was a time in my life where I was very thirsty to learn. This dish arrested me. It was interesting. It’s encouraging us to understand the animal in its most raw place—past death, sitting there in an opportunity zone—and carpaccio celebrates those little pieces that you’re told to trim off.”
There are far more complex dishes that require cooking than carpaccio. That is the point of the dish: it can be elevated many times over, yet it does not have to be fancy. This is made from the meat you scrape off the bone. This is a dish for the person who is putting in the effort to cut their meat, work the carcass, and navigate the skeletal and muscular anatomy.
“This is a recipe for the home butcher,” says Eduardo. “When you start butchering, you’re going to pay attention to the makeup of the muscle fiber itself, and you’ll notice the difference in the structure of a loin cut and the chuck roast. You’re going to see how different the matter is. It’s like looking at a cinder block or a garden paver. Both are made out of concrete for the garden, but you’re going to use them in different spots.”
There is a mystique that surrounds carpaccio on a menu, but for the home butcher who is hands-on with the final cuts of meat, this carpaccio recipe is approachable. This is a great entry point for the home chef, can be served as an appetizer or a main, and a versatile way for people interested in picking up a knife and being more intimate with the butchery of their wild harvest. Utilitarian at its core but able to be gussied up to be a showstopper, carpaccio is a great step-up for the home cook.
“It’s a celebration of the trim bits,” says Eduardo.
Eduardo Garcia’s Carpaccio Recipe
1 lb wild game venison, elk, bison loin or lean muscle trim
1 shallot, sliced
1 tsp. grain mustard
2 anchovies, chopped (or 1 tbsp. of anchovy paste)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. Montana Mex Jalapeño Seasoning
1 lemon, zested & juiced
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Italian parsley, rough chopped
Grated Parmesan optional
Salad or sprouts of your choice
Eduardo likes a mix of spicy arugula and radish sprouts with mild sunflower sprouts and rough chopped parsley. Sometimes he’ll add thinly shaved fennel, too.
Step 1: Prep the meat
Working with meat that is partially frozen will help yield thin slices when cutting the muscle against the grain. If you’re working with trim that’s fine too. Prepare 6 square plate size pieces of parchment paper and. Arrange slices or trim in a rough circle so that meat is mostly touching but not overlapping too much. Cover each sheet with an equally sized piece of plastic wrap and press all over so that the parchment, meat, plastic wrap feels like one piece. Using a mallet or flat bottomed hard surface gently pound the plastic side of the sheet. Work the meat into an even layer that is roughly the size of the plate you will serve on. Pound all sheets in this fashion.
Step 2: Make the dressing
For the dressing. Add all dressing components to a small bowl and whisk until blended evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning to suit your preference.
Step 3: Plating the meat
To serve. Working one at a time peel off the plastic wrap. And drape the meat side of the sheet over the plate to fully cover the plate. Press onto the parchment encouraging the pounded sheet of meat to adhere to the plate. Gently tease of the plate so the sheet of meat stays on the plate in a even layer.
Step 4: Plating the toppings
Dress salad in some of the dressing. Add in a tall pile in the center of the carpaccio. Add your salad of choice arugula to a bowl and toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange arugula in a pile in the center of each plate.
Step 5: Drizzle and season
Drizzle entire dish with the dressing, sprinkle with flaky salt, add fresh cracked pepper and grated cheese should you like.
Step 6: Enjoy!