Springbok Carpaccio with Rooibos Balsamic Reduction

 

I was lucky enough to get invited by Errieda du Toit aka @huiskok to join her and Ishay from @FoodandtheFab to shoot an insert for Pasella (a popular South African lifestyle program).  The theme for the program was Venison (“Wild” in Afrikaans).

The program aired on the 3rd of October 2012 at 7:30pm on SABC2, here is a recording of the show on YouTube!

 

 

 

I have already done a shoot with Pasella earlier in the year and knew it to be good fun (and a whole lot of shattered nerves) so I jumped at the chance.

When I pitched up on the day Errieda was already busy in the kitchen, with the cameras rolling.  She made a Guineafowl (“Tarentaal”) burger with a Shiraz chutney, on traditional “Roosterkoeke”, a type of bread roll, cooked on an open fire.

The Shiraz chutney was really something special and complimented the guineafowl beautifully.

 

 

 

Next up was Ishay with some Mediterranean Grilled Kudu Pitas. She really has a way with spices, the aromas that filled the kitchen as she was grilling the kudu steaks did not help my already rumbling stomache one bit. Thankfully we took a break for lunch shortly thereafter!

 

 

 

Then it was my turn, you know, save the best for last and all that (yea I know I am extremely modest at the best of times).  I made a Springbok Carpaccio served with a homemade Rooibos Balsamic Reduction, Rocket, Gruyère, Rosa tomatoes and some Melba toast.

 

 

Carpaccio used to be one of those dishes that I thought best left to proffesional chefs in high tech kitchens.  It is crucial that the slices of meat are paper thin, and my first few attempt were nowhere near that.

I researched (Google is your friend) and found that one should put the meat in the freezer to firm up (not freeze, just firm up) before slicing, but still my knife skills wasn’t up to the task.

Some more reading and experimenting later and I came up with this technique that is easy as pie (actually pies are WAY trickier).  Give it a bash and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

For the Rooibos Balsamic Reduction:

  • 1L Balsamic vinegar
  • 8 Rooibos teabags
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 T brown sugar (my original recipe included honey, but it’s flavour didn’t cut through the stronger flavour of the vinegar, so I replaced it with some brown sugar)

 

For the Melba toast:

  • 1 Ciabatta loaf (if you can find a loaf that is a day or two old use it, it will be easier to slice)

 

For the Carpaccio:

  • 200gm Springbok sirloin (I originally thought to use the fillet, but my butcher told me that a Springbok fillet would be way too small for the job)
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • a few shavings of Gruyère cheese
  • a handful of Rocket leaves
  • a handful or ripe Rosa tomatoes
  • 3-4 T of Rooibos Balsamic Reduction
  • a few slices of Melba Toast


Method:

For the Rooibos Balsamic Reduction:

Follow the same technique I used for the Garlic and Oregano Balsamic Reduction, just replace the ingredients with the ones listed above.

For the Melba toast:

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Slice the Ciabatta as thin as you can.

Place the slices on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on these babies, you want a light golden colour, no burnt spots.

Let them cool on a wire rack if possible and store in an air tight container.

For the Carpaccio:

Remove the sirloin from the packaging, place on a cutting board and pat dry with some kitchen towel.

 

 

Wipe your work surface with a damp cloth (to make the clingfilm stick) and roll out about 30 cm’s of clingfilm away from you.  Do not tear off the clingfilm just yet,leave the roll on the counter as is, we are going to fold it back over in a minute.

Drizzle a tiny bit of good olive oil on the clingfilm.  Don’t overdo it or you will have a hard time later trying to get the slices to stay put.

Slice the meat into thin slices and place on the clingfilm.  The thickness here will determine how big the slizes of carpaccio will be once rolled out, so try a few different sizes until you are happy with them once rolled out.

 

 

Roll the clinfilm back over the slices and tear off when you reached the other end.  Work out the air trapped in the film by patting it down from the middle outwards.

Gently roll the slices of meat with a rolling pin until they are nice and thin. Don’t go TOO thin or they’ll break, just be patient and give it a go you’ll soon get the hang of it.

If you find that the meat jumps around under the rolling pin when you try to roll it, use less olive oil on your next sheet.

 

 

Be gentle and take your time, roll the slices both horizontally and vertically.

If you would like to serve Carpaccio at a dinner party, I’d avise you to do everything up to this point in advance.  You can place the rolled sheets in the fridge and just unwrap, season and serve when the guests arive. Just make sure that you seal the edges of the clingfilm so that no air can get it before putting it in the fridge.

We you are ready to serve, lift up the top layer of clingwrap, you should end up with something like this.

 

 

The next crucial part is seasoning.  Raw meat without proper seasoning is really not very appetising at all.  You also want to avoid handling these delicate slices too much, so to season both sides without having to turn them over, I first put a generous amount of salt and peper on a flat plate, then place the slices on top of that.

 

 

Lightly season the top side as well and then we are ready to plate. You will need to adjust the seasoning to your liking, so make a few “tasters” first and then adjust as neccesary.

For the shoot I served the Carpaccio with some Melba toast, rocket, Gruyère, Rooibos Balsamic Reduction and Rosa tomatoes (always put some salt on tomatoes when you cut them open, it brings out the sweetness)

You can of course use the same technique with Beef or other types of Venison.

 

 

 

There you have it, the perfect snack or starter for the Summer months ahead.  Enjoy!

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Author:Fritz Brand

Passionate Foodie, Blues Man, Photographer, Technology Geek and all round cool dude.

17 Responses to “Springbok Carpaccio with Rooibos Balsamic Reduction”

  1. October 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Wow, Fritz, ek sal beslis kyk – Pasella is een van my ginsteling programme!! Ek hou van die carpaccio!!

    • Fritz Brand
      October 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

      Thx Zerkie, hoop jy geniet dit!

  2. October 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    ..ek bedoel gunsteling!! ;)

  3. October 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Try using a ceramic knife to cut boneless meats like the sirloin. You will find it easier to do nice thing slices.

    • Fritz Brand
      October 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Thanks Nick, I’ll give it a bash when I get my hands on one of those babies

  4. October 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Thin slices !

  5. Jane-Anne Hobbs
    October 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Verrrry, very nice. Well done, my friend. That carpaccio looks glorious. x

    • Fritz Brand
      October 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks so much Mavis! There are few things in life a good rolling pin can’t fix :P

  6. October 4, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Very nice Fritz. I enjoyed watching you, Ishay and Erida on Pasella last night. Felt very proud to know such schlebs personally ;)

    • Fritz Brand
      October 4, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Thanks Tami! Stick with us, we’ll make ya famous :P

  7. October 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    congrats Fritz :)
    always great to see you and Ishay doing so well :) and Eirida too :)
    go dude!

    Betty Bake

    • Fritz Brand
      October 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks Betty! :)

  8. October 5, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Fritz! This was such fun. Your dish is gorgeous and I’d be proud to serve this one to royalty. Well done!

    • Fritz Brand
      October 5, 2012 at 12:16 am #

      Thanks so much Ish, that means a lot to me :)

  9. March 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Aaah yes, my Italian sis-in-law uses the “lightly frozen method to get hers thin too! Although she has one of those professional-looking slicers with the turning blade to get hers ultra-thin. LOVE the sound of this dish and super-jealous you got to hang out with Errieda and Ishay!

    • Fritz Brand
      March 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Hi Jeanne. Yea I’d still like to get my hands on one of those turning wheel jobbies, but for now I’ll just give it a good whack with my trusty rolling pin.

      Cheers

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Food and the Fabulous » Smokey Pan Grilled Kudu (Venison) in Pitas - October 5, 2012

    [...] onion chutney (that inspired me to make my own version after our cooking session) and Fritz of Real Men Can Cook, my previous Pasella show partner-in-food,  made an elegant Springbok Carpaccio with Rooibos [...]

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