The Benefits of Eating Raw Meat: Carpaccio by The Nourished Caveman
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Two years ago I had a very rude awakening. The first time I measured my glucose levels, I found out I was pre-diabetic. I was age 45, had been a nutritionist for 5 years and was eating what I thought was the healthiest diet on the planet: all organic, local, home cooked and Paleo foods. But something was not right. I was gaining weight. I was always hungry. I also had joint and lower back pain.
That is when I discovered the ketogenic diet. While I was designing my first ketogenic diet course for my patients, I started to feel the benefits of eating this way and completely fell in love with the keto lifestyle. Not only was I able to lose about 15 pounds in 3 months and kept that weight loss for the last 3 years, I also managed to revert my pre-diabetes to normal blood sugar levels and reset my insulin resistance so I could tolerate more carbs.
But that is not my favorite part of the diet. The variety and quality of the food you get to eat on a ketogenic lifestyle is my favorite part. Now I work with a therapeutic diet I call Keto Paleo, which uses ketogenic ratios and nutrient dense, mostly unprocessed foods. I have been having great results helping a number of conditions with this way of eating, especially those facing with any metabolic disease. Seeing my patients transform their lives and health is a constant source of joy and motivation for me.
I consider myself very lucky, for I was born in one of the countries most famous for its amazing quality and variety of food: Italy. Growing up in a restaurant has also greatly contributed my deep passion for all food and good eating. This appreciation has deepened during my years of traveling the world while studying traditional diets.
I will be sharing with you a classic carpaccio recipe, which will bring you back to the traditional roots of the recipe. Carpaccio should be eaten cold, not freezing cold but nice and cool, like good sushi. The meat should not be warm and limp on your tongue, but crisp and fresh, pungent with a good olive oil (I like Oilo Nuovo on my carpaccio), and the bite of the arugula. To make your life easier I recommend using a food slicer, to slice the carpaccio meat. It will give you that perfect paper-thin cut in a fraction of time.
Even though in the last 15 years, carpaccio has seen as resurgence in Italy as a fancy chef’s creation expanding the range of ingredients from the traditional beef to all kinds of meats, fish and vegetables, carpaccio definitively belongs in the category of traditional delicacies. As long as it’s raw and sliced paper-thin, we can call it carpaccio!
How to eat raw meat:
If you are worried about eating raw beef, just make sure that you know the source of your beef! It should be strictly pastured, grass fed and finished, and possibly from your local farmer. Pastured animals should only be eating the diet they were designed to eat (grass and not grains), moving around freely and not being confined in large number, so that they do not harbor diseases. I have eaten raw meat all my life and by using these guidelines, I never had any problem.
From the nutritional point of view, raw meat is also better for you than cooked. First of all, raw meat does not contain carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which are compounds created by open flames or high heat.
Second, which I think is most important, heat denatures amino acid chains, making them difficult to digest and absorb in to the body. In fact, people who only ever eat well-done meat, might get protein deficient, or have problems with protein digestion. That is why most traditional cultures have raw meat recipes.
Last but not least, heat destroys the enzymes present in the meat, which are also very important for digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):
- 8 ounces of grass-fed, grass-finished filet mignon or tenderloin, never frozen
- 1 bunch fresh organic Arugula, washed and trimmed
- 4 tablespoons truffle infused extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
- Place the meat in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will make it firm enough to slice with a sharp chef’s knife or with a meat slicer.
- Slice thinly and divide the individual slices laying them on 4 individual plates.
- Arrange the arugula on top of the meat, dividing it equally
- Drizzle the oil on the plates, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Arrange the shaved parmesan on top.
- You can add extra freshly grated black pepper to garnish the top.
- Plates can be chilled in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
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