My Best-selling Dish – Carapaccio battuta fassone, by Lukas Pfaff

11 May 2012
My Best-selling Dish – Carapaccio battuta fassone, by Lukas Pfaff

What is it?Raw Fassone beef, aged Parmesan and rocket
Price £14
GP 72%
Orders 20% of starters

Lukas Pfaff
Lukas Pfaff
In London you rarely get carpaccio served in an authentic way. It is often frozen and sliced, then defrosted on the plate, or God forbid, seared - bland and tasteless. So we decided to do it the authentic way.

It is prepared using topside, known in Italy as Fesa from a rare breed of Italian beef called Fassone from Piedmont. The beef is sliced by hand fairly thinly, then gently beaten thinner and laid on the plate. It is then dressed with a mayonnaise-based sauce and rocket leaves, Parmesan reggiano shavings, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil and fresh thyme.

It is one of our signature dishes - there would be a riot if we took it off the menu, so it has to be available all year round. The secret behind its popularity is its authenticity: people who have been to Italy instantly recognise this dish as the real thing.
Lukas Pfaff, head chef, Sartoria, London

(Serves 4)
200g Fassone beef (topside is fine)
80g Parmesan shavings
1 handful of wild rocket leaves
Sprig of fresh thyme

For the sauce
4 egg yolks
Juice of half an Amalfi lemon
130ml extra virgin olive oil
Hint of Colman's mustard powder
Salt & pepper
50g finely grated Parmesan

Slice and gently beat the Fassone beef between two plastic sheets. Arrange the slices on a plate, covering the whole surface. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

For the sauce, beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice until fluffy and slowly add the olive oil to make a kind of mayonnaise. Then add the mustard powder and seasoning at the end.

Drizzle the sauce over the meat, scatter with rocket leaves and Parmesan shavings. Sprinkle with freshly picked thyme.

Recommended wine

The lemon, rocket and Parmesan in the dish creates a great harmony, adding acidity, saltiness and spiciness. There is lots of flavour, so it could prove challenging when it comes to your wine matching.

Very few grapes will have the required depth and complexity but Nebbiolo is undoubtedly one of the greatest Italian grapes and has all the right ingredients - power, elegance, great acidity, tannins and subtle fruits. Look for wines from the region of Piemonte where Nebbiolo is at its best.Obviously Barolo and Barbaresco are the classic names but for alternatives, look at wines from Gattinara, Carema or Langhe.
Xavier Rousset is co-owner of Texture and 28-50, in London

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