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I saw in TV chefs making carpaccio.

They get a nice raw meat and fillet them in thin pieces.

Then they make a sauce and side dishes.

Isn't eating this raw meat dangerous?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Well, I usually add quite a lot of fresh lemon juice on it. This acid environment should kill most pathogens. However, you have to use the most fresh meat possible, when I eat raw meat (very common in Italy) I eat it the same day I bought it from the butcher.

Tell to your family butcher that you're going to do carpaccio (or generically that you will eat it raw), so that he can give you the appropriate cut.

Absolutely never use raw chicken or pork meat!

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So, if I freeze the meat I shouldn't use, isn't it? –  Daniel Moura Jul 9 '10 at 22:53
    
You could keep the meat in the fridge for few hours, however I will not eat raw meat bought more than 24 hours before. You should use only exceptionally fresh meat, and never chicken or pork meat! In Italy it is much easier, as butchers will give you specific meat if you say it is for carpaccio. –  Lorenzo Jul 9 '10 at 23:00
    
Yes. You can "cook" a number of things with lemon juice and other acids. I will not eat raw seafood but I did once enjoy shrimp at a tapas bar that cooked it via lemon juice. –  Dinah Jul 14 '10 at 14:43

If you're interested in trying out any of the traditional raw meat dishes, such as Carpaccio or Steak tartare, maybe Crudos or Mett etc. the most important consideration is where you source the meat.

As Lorenzo said, only use fresh meat, I would add, only use organic meat that you can guarantee has been prepared in a hygienic environment by a certified butcher.

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2  
"organic" meat has no bearing here. You can buy poor organic meat just like any other. –  hobodave Jul 14 '10 at 15:29
    
Of course, if you are able verify the quality of the meat and the path it takes from farm to plate, non-organic is just as worthy as organic. –  Pulse Jul 14 '10 at 23:16

Starting with a whole chilled piece of meat, I quickly pour boiling water over all the outside surface. (I find this much easier than trying to sear every bit of surface in a pan.) Pathogens are generally only on the surface so this kills them off, and it cooks barely half a millimetre of the meat, turning just the outside grey. You don't notice at all if you then finely chop the meat for steak tartare. For carpaccio you, the cook, can always eat the two discoloured outside slices.

I've also considered rubbing vodka over the outside to sterilize without discolouring the surface (like a hand sanitizer), but I've never tried it!

And of course, you should eat raw meat only when it's from a reputable source.

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The recipe I work from has you put the meat in the freezer, then pan sear it. This kills any pathogens on the outside and the time in the freezer prevents the heat from searing from getting too far into the meat. Trim off the cooked regions with a clean knife and you've got reasonably safe raw beef.

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