From the finest to the most humble of cuts, grass-fed Scotch beef is as good as it gets, writes Neil Forbes as he gives us his recipe for Scotch beef carpaccio

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  • Medium
Beef is not just beef. Seek out the best you can afford and try to support your local butcher, farm shop or market stall. Experiment with unusual, cheaper cuts using different techniques. But remember, only ever buy Scotch beef.  Carpaccio is usually served with a little olive oil, lemon and white truffle or Parmesan. It’s raw, truly delicious and perfectly safe to eat. Serving raw beef is a real test of the quality of the meat and provenance of the cattle. I’ve made this dish using many different cuts in the past, here I’m using fillet. It is pricey, but consider this a special dish to be savoured.

Ingredients

  • 250g piece of fillet of Scotch beef, trimmed and silver skin removed
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 250ml water
  • 250g unrefined caster sugar
  • a few aromas like star anise, cinnamon or thyme for flavouring your pickles
  • good salt and pepper
  • 400g mixed veg for pickling eg cauliflower, carrot, onion, courgette, red pepper
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 1 large tbsp Arran mustard
  • a few salad leaves
  • a few shards of Corra Linn or Bonnet cheese

Method

Scotch beef carpaccio

1 Bring the vinegar, water and sugar to the boil on the hob with your chosen aromas and simmer for 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper.

2 Blanch the pickling veg in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes until just starting to soften, then refresh under cold, running water. Place them into the hot pickle liquor. These can be stored for weeks in a sterilised jar.

3 Season the beef with salt and pepper, then get a heavy frying pan very hot and add half the rapeseed oil. Quickly sear the beef all over for a couple of minutes, maximum, to seal the raw outer layer of the beef.

4 Make a paste with the mustard and the remaining oil, then season with salt and pepper. Rub this paste all over the just-seared beef and wrap it very tightly in clingfilm until it resembles a sausage. Make sure it’s secured and tie the ends so it won’t unravel. Place the beef in your freezer for about an hour. You don’t want it to be frozen solid, just to be firm.

5 To serve, remove the beef from the clingfilm and slice it very thinly with a sharp knife and arrange on a plate. Season with salt and pepper, then some salad leaves and pickled veg. Lastly, add the shards of cheese.

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About The Author

Neil Forbes

Neil is one of Scotland's most passionate chefs who describes cooking as an “emotional experience that uses all the senses”. Born into a family of chefs, it was his granny”s soup that first inspired a young Neil to get behind the stove, and inspires him still.

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About The Author

Neil Forbes

Neil is one of Scotland's most passionate chefs who describes cooking as an “emotional experience that uses all the senses”. Born into a family of chefs, it was his granny”s soup that first inspired a young Neil to get behind the stove, and inspires him still.