This recipe is inspired by food in Siberia, an area far, far away from Harry's Bar in Venice, where the name carpaccio was first attached to a dish of raw meat, thereby elevating the meat to something elegant. Even in that genteel setting, the rationale for the dish was health; according to legend, Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry's Bar invented the dish in 1950 when countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo was forbidden by her doctors to eat cooked meat.
The size of the serving is really up to you: anything from just a few slices to 1/4 pound as a starter. Venison is not cheap, but even a small mouthful can provide the full taste of the dish. Make sure the meat is cut into the thinnest slices possible, against the grain; ask your butcher to do it. Or if you cut it at home, first freeze the meat for 30 to 45 minutes; that will make it easier for you to cut thinly. If you buy frozen venison, cut it just as it is starting to defrost.
Servings: 4 - 8 appetizer
- 1 pound venison, cut (against the grain) into paper-thin slices
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed (canola) oil or other neutral-flavored oil
- 1 small sprig rosemary
- 2 teaspoons crushed dried mushrooms
- Handful fresh or frozen cranberries (may substitute 1/4 cup whole jellied cranberries or cranberry preserves)
- Flaky sea salt
Arrange the meat on a large platter or on individual plates, fanning the slices with a little overlap.
Combine the oil and rosemary in a small bowl. Use the backside of a wooden spatula or spoon to bruise the rosemary in the oil, releasing the herb's flavor. Remove the herb; drizzle the flavored oil over the meat, then sprinkle with the mushrooms, cranberries and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
From Gastronomer Andreas Viestad.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.