Beef Carpaccio

PrimalCarpaccio is little more than thinly sliced raw meat, but the dish is so delectable it’s hard to believe that’s all there is to it. In a dish as simple as this, high quality (ideally grass-fed) beef tenderloin is a must for its fresh, pure, meaty flavor. Sliced paper thin, the meat will practically melt in your mouth. Beef carpaccio is about flavor and texture.

Of course, along with the great flavor and velvety texture of grass-fed beef comes a bonus; all that omega-3 content. Which makes this light but satiating starter appealing in every way.

Because it’s a starter, not a main course, you’re buying a smaller amount, which makes it a bit easier on the wallet to buy high quality – so go for it. Serve beef carpaccio at a special occasion, or not. Accompanied by a simple salad with Dijon vinaigrette, beef carpaccio is as appropriate on a holiday table as it is at a casual outdoor summer meal.

Servings: 3 to 4, as an appetizer

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours for meat to chill



  • ½ pound beef tenderloin (230 g)
  • 3 to 4 handfuls of dark leafy greens, like arugula or baby kale
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (a pinch)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml)


Wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. In the freezer for this amount of time, the meat becomes firm (not frozen) and is easier to slice very thinly.

Put serving plate(s) in the refrigerator to chill.

Thinly slice the meat into 1/8 to ¼ inch (3mm to 6 mm) paper-thin pieces. If the pieces are not as thin as you’d like, then loosely wrap the slices in a piece of plastic wrap. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the slices thinly.

Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and olive oil. Toss with the greens.

Arrange the slices of meat on chilled serving plates. Arrange the salad around the meat and serve.

Step 2


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28 thoughts on “Beef Carpaccio”

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  1. Sorry, Mark, good try–and I do like a lot of the recipes you print–but this one is just plain off-putting. Some people might like eating raw meat, but I’m not one of them. Cooking kills bacteria that I’d rather not consume with my meal.

    1. Don’t knock it till you try it. I’ve never gotten sick from this and I have a very sensitive stomach.

      1. Oddly enough, I have severe IBS, but I can handle meat, raw, rare and medium much better than greens. So I agree with you on this.

        1. Sorry Shary, but this is one of the best things you’ll ever put in your mouth. People gave been eating this delicasy for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

    2. Frankly am far more worried about the junk in the tap water than what’s in an amazing piece of raw grass fed steak.

    3. Nothing to fear, have had it several times and love it. If it is from a good quality source will be one of the best things ever.

      1. Yes absolutely, this is a great and simple dish. If you can get a really high quality piece of meat then it will be fantastic!

    4. Carpaccio is delicious!! If you are worried about bacteria, I know some folks who give the tenderloin a quick sear on the outside, then cool and slice. My favorite Italian restaurant serves it topped with arugula, shaved parmesan, capers, and an olive oil drizzle. Mmmmm….

  2. Fabulous, I forget how crazy simple this is! You’re right, turns a great steak into an absolutely amazing, melt in the mouth appetizer. Yay beef!!

  3. This looks awesome. I remember as a kid eating raw ground beef with a little salt. I think I’ll have to run out to the supermarket real soon.

  4. Used to eat this all the time when I lived in Europe. A little EVOO and cracked pepper on top. Yum, yum, yum.

    1. I think you made a typo:

      raw steak sound absolutely edible


      1. I made a typo myself!

        I think you made a typo:

        raw steak sounds absolutely edible


  5. I have made this a bunch of times and it’s absolutely delicious. Truffle oil drizzled on top is fabulous as well. Have brought it to several foodie-oriented gatherings and it was a huge hit.

  6. I’ve had raw beef in Asia, but there, they actually specifically label beef to be eaten raw, sort of like “sushi-grade tuna” vs “tuna” in markets here. It was thinly shaved raw beef and a raw egg yolk, and I really wanted to turn it down but I ate it only to be polite–and it was incredible. I wouldn’t make a meal out of it, but it was great as an appetizer.

  7. Add some thinly shaved parmigiano, roasted pinenuts, freshly ground black pepper, coarse sea salt and high quality EVOO and you’ve got yourself an explosion of sweet, salty, peppery and umami flavours, with soft, juicy, crumbly and crunchy textures all in one bite… delicious!

  8. You know, for a paleo/primal crowd, we seem to be very squeamish sometimes!

    Mark, would you like to post a steak tartare recipe next? Specifically texture (fine/chunky) as well as what you consider safe handling steps?

    1. Not all that long ago (up until the early 1990’s) my mom made tartare from supermarket ground beef and eggs. The horror! Each serving was a mound of beef with a well to hold a raw egg and finely chopped onions and sometimes pickles surrounded the dish. It was delicious. We had it at every special occasion and no one ever got sick.

      If people are super scared of surface bacteria or if it’s not from the most reputable source, one could always sear the outside before slicing. It’s not quite the same, but still very tasty.

  9. Funny how raw meat is off-putting to some, but steaks cooked rare are just fine.
    Raw red meat dishes are pretty popular worldwide. I suspect they’d be considerably less popular if they made more people sick.
    That said, unless you really trust your sources, use meat that has been frozen for a week or two. This will really cut down on the surface bacteria.

    1. I know, I was thinking the same thing. Actually, I was thinking how awesome this is because now I don’t even have to waste those couple of minutes cooking the steak and just get to the eating part! 😉

    2. USDA says 14 days. If you’re buying locker beef from a local producer it’s likely to have been frozen that long anyway. Unless you are taking delivery straight from the locker and thawing your tenderloin immediately.

  10. A dish such as this is like the super bowl (or plate) of primal eating. Those unfortunates who shy away don’t know what they’re missing.

  11. I think pounding it out is the key to that melt in your mouth texture. I’m join to try this next time I cook a roast rare and have leftovers.

  12. I know a lot of people have a problem with this recipe because the meat is raw, but if you can get over it and give it a try you will be amazed at how good it taste.

  13. Beef so thin it melts in your mouth?
    …I’ll just be over here, trying to respect that people have diverse tastes and opinions.

  14. I’m Italian and I eat Carpaccio at least once a week. It’s delicious and the epitome of primal eating for me… After all, what is more primal than raw meat, leafy greens and healthy fats? In Italy, we always top it with slices of parmesan cheese, so if you’re into dairy you might give it a try… It’s heaven.