© David Loftus
flash roast beef with garlic, rosemary and girolles (schiacciata di manzo con aglio, rosmarino e funghi)
Schiacciata is the sister dish of carpaccio, but while carpaccio’s raw, this is literally flashed in the oven so it just turns color. Obviously the better the beef the better the dish. So go for something with good marbling and a bit of integrity. It can also be served as a starter or a snack, with different salads sprinkled on top. The truffle oil’s optional, but the flavor is interesting, so give it a try because it’s something new. This whole dish is impressive and damn tasty.
OK, first things first – whack your oven onto its highest heat. For this dish we’re going to cook the meat on the platter it will be served on, so ideally use one of those classic cheap old metal pans or trays. Or you can use regular serving plates instead, if you know they’re heatproof. Rub them with extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil. And now you’re going to prepare the meat. Work with one piece at a time, and put it on a 12-inch piece of garbage bag with another piece on top. Using a rolling pin, evenly slap the meat until it’s four times the width you started with, but a quarter of the thickness.
Lay the meat on your tray, platter, or plate right to the edges – you can let it hang over a tiny bit. Put your rosemary leaves into a sieve and run hot water over them to get the oils and flavors going. Put them into a little bowl, pour 3 or 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on top, and massage the leaves with your fingers to get more flavor out of them. Stir the garlic into the rosemary oil, then pat everything evenly all over the meat. The meat can be prepared to this point a few hours in advance, then wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge.
Now all you’ve got to do is get a little salad together. Tear your arugula and radicchio into a large bowl. Slice your mushrooms as thinly as possible and add them to the bowl.
This dish is best put together really quickly at the last minute. All you need to do is put the meat in the preheated oven for 1–3 minutes (depending on your oven). By the time you’ve dressed the salad, with a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and put your block of Parmesan on the table with a speed peeler for shaving pieces off it, you can take the meat out of the oven – it should be paler in color now. The idea is not to cook the meat, but simply to warm it through. Scatter the salad over the meat and serve it straight away. Shave over some Parmesan and have a nice glass of wine with it. Tasty, tasty, and very gorgeous!
• 1 1/4 lb• good-quality beef fillet, sinews
removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
• extra virgin olive oil
• optional, a few drops of truffle oil
• 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• 3 handfuls of arugula
• a large handful of mixed salad leaves
including radicchio di Treviso or salad radicchio
• a handful of really firm mushrooms,
such as chanterelles, field, or uovoli (Caesar) mushrooms
• balsamic vinegar
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a block of Parmesan cheese