Francesca’s on the Fox in Saint Charles, Illinois is an Ample Bites favorite and the nightly variation of their beef carpaccio appetizer is always a part of our order.
Francesca’s uses a sirloin beef cut and they pound the meat paper-thin to create a beautifully constructed starter. Ample Bites uses a beef tenderloin tip and builds more of an entree salad serving. Francesca’s sears their beef to just rare before serving. Ample Bites approaches medium-rare where the beef is less elastic and the serving remains slightly thicker.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Thyme and Asiago
(Adapted from Beef: And Other Bovine Matters, John Torode – 2009)
12 black peppercorns
½ Tbsp flaked sea salt
leaves from 4 thyme sprigs
7-8 ounce center cut beef tenderloin
4-5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
2 handfuls of mixed salad greens
2 ounces Asiago cheese
Grind the peppercorns and mix with the salt and 3/4ths of the thyme leaves. Rub the beef lightly with some of the olive oil. Rub the pepper-thyme mixture over the beef on all sides. Allow the beef to stand at room temperature for 15 – 20 minutes.
Heat grill to high. Sear the beef on all sides with total cooking time 9 – 12 minutes, until medium-rare and internal temperature reaches 135F. Remove from the grill and allow to cool to close to room temperature.
Using a long, sharp knife slice the beef as thinly as possible. Place the slices on a board and flatten them to make them slightly bigger.
Cover the serving plates with the beef. Season, then drizzle with half the lemon juice. Toss the salad with the olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Scatter the salad over the beef, then shave the cheese over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the lemon wedges.