Friday, 6 May 2011

Seared Beef Carpaccio With Rosemary Flowers

Whaaaaat! Flowers!!!

Yeah really, flowers, honest guv.

I’ve seen many a TV chef type try to convince us that flowers are edible. Whoaaa steady on there.
I’ve just accepted that cheese and Jam are an acceptable flavour combination and now you expect me to believe I can happily chomp my way through the colourful section of the Garden Centre.

Erm, as it turns out, to some extent, they’re right.

The Rosemary in my back yard recently started sprouting flowers, so, tentatively; I plucked one of the purple blooms and had a little Chew. Wow, a delicate sort of flavour explosion thing was cavorting around inside my mouth. So confirm this was a new (to me) taste sensation I gave some to Lisa who quickly confirmed that they were indeed flavoursome and that I hadn’t been enjoying too much of the big orange thing in the Sky

Many ideas sprang mind around how to get the best out of the flowers and two things were paramount: What would be complemented by a rosemary hit and what would do justice to the delicate beauty of the flowers.?

Taste wise I think I achieved this, visually, did I do them Justice?

Serves 4 as a starter

1 Small, quality beef fillet steak
2 Radishes very thinly sliced
Handful of rocket and/or leaves of your choice
1 Tomato de-seeded and cut into fine cubes
8 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
Baguette cut into 2cm thick slices, 3 per serving
Small amount of groundnut oil
Small amount of Rosemary flowers

On a clean chopping board lay down a good amount of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Roll your steak in the salt and pepper so that you get a nice even coating all over the steak

Heat a frying pan until it is very hot, add the groundnut oil and very quickly sear all sides of the steak. It’s best to use a pair of tongs if you have one. Put the steak to one side to rest

In a bowl mix the mayonnaise, oil and mustard, whisk together then slowly whisk in Lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
Once the Steak has rested cut into slices as thin as you can get whilst keeping the pieces whole.

Take two sheets of Clingfilm and place one steak slice in-between the Clingfilm sheets.
Using a heavy object (rolling pin or meat mallet thing) batter the meat until it is wafer thin, repeat this process for all your slices.

In the same pan fry/toast your slices of bread until they take on a golden colour

Now your ready to assemble the dish how you want.

I started with the bread base, added the meat , then the leaves , the flowers and finished with a drizzle of the mustard mayo

Lisa did hers slightly differently

So, the taste then, what about that?
I think I matched the deep flavour of the beef , the peppery-ness of the rocket and acidic creaminess of the sauce very well with the fragrant rosemary bursts. 

You know what?
I think this eating flowers lark will grow on me ….. Ha Ha Ha Ha …. Erm I’ll get my coat


  1. I have no problem eating flowers, but I have to say, that the 'raw' beef is not calling to me.

  2. ... Raw beef neither did I if I'm honest and it wasn't until I ordered it one day abroad by mistake that I tried it, you get very little of it but the flavour it produces is magnificent. For those unsure I recommend lots of contrasting textures, hence the crunchy bread and nice pungent acidic flavours to balance out the pure beefy-ness

  3. What a beautiful dish! And a treat to serve carpaccio at.home. was the single fillet enough for two people?

  4. Janice don't be afraid of raw beef, it's fantastic!

    This dish looks amazing. Very noma-esque (but without the insanely complex cooking techniques). People with too much money and little sense would maybe describe it as "on trend". I just think it looks delicious.


  5. @Maya , more than enough for two, there was some left over. We had it as starter and I guess it depends on how much bread etc you server with it.

    Thanks Chris, I enjoyed playing with the ingredients to get the right look for the dish

  6. I'm so jealous your rosemary is flowering. Mine refuses to do anything at all. This looks like my kind of food. Subsequently, even more jealous.

  7. Looks beautiful - just like in a restaurant. Not one I've been to however, the type you get on tv!

  8. This is such a beautiful dish and I bet it tasted bloody lovely aswell!!

  9. For some reason all the rosemary has flowered this year, regardless of when or where it was bought. I guess it's something to do with where you live. Actually I've no idea really that was a complete guess.

    Thanks for all the great comments guys