Steak Tartare Shopping Tips
Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.
Steak Tartare Cooking Tips
The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.
Steak tartare is a classic French dish, but one that is now loved across the world. There are many variations on the original dish and this recipe is French in origin, but with the slight twist of a lemony, sharp-dressing. The dish includes finely chopped gherkins and tiny pieces of red onion stirred throughout.
Buy the best steak you can for this dish—after all, it is served raw. Dry aged and organic is the best option, but if you can't find that, just make sure you by quality meat and ensure it is always kept cool.
Make your tartare within a few days after purchasing. Work quickly when making the tartare and any time you need to leave it, cover and pop into the refrigerator.
FYI according to my butcher Top Round is not a cut it's Inside Round.
All the right ingredients in almost the right proportions, but it could use a couple of tweaks: more dijon, more capers, less whole grain. (At least, everyone who ate it last night at my house could agree on that much.)
Ma recette préférée! Excellent, facile et délicieux!
My first time making steak tartare and it was a hit with all of our friends. I was able to make the marinade the night before without the oil, since the steak should not be cut up until 20 mins before serving. I used regular onions since I didn't have shallots so I just used a bit less. Thanks for an amazing and easy recipe.
- Freeze the steak for 20 to 30 minutes before cutting them. It makes it so much easier to dice the steak really finely and is definitely worth doing.
- Use a really sharp knife, like really sharp, to make nice clean cuts. You don't want to be sawing at a nice piece of steak.
- This recipe makes 4 appetizers and is easily halved or doubled. It serves two for a lunch.
- Use as fresh as you can eggs for the best flavor. Use organic / free run if possible.
No. Absolutely not. A million times no. Ground beef is made from several different cuts of beef and it needs to be cooked so that it's safe to eat. The texture would also be really gross, so just don't do it.
This dish is best served as soon as you've made it so that it doesn't dry out. If you want to plan ahead, once you have seasoned the beef, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours, but no more, before plating. The pickled shallots can be made several days ahead of time and kept in the fridge.
Beef steak is traditionally used for this French classic, but you can easily mix it up with other meats. Veal and bison both work well. You can also make this with Asian beef varieties such as wagu and kobe.
I understand some people may be reluctant to try this one at home, even Mr Slow The Cook Down was a little bit reluctant to taste test this at first, but it was hoovered up super quickly! Take your time, give it some love, and it will be one of your go to dishes!
Step by Step Instructions
Cut the meat with a knife (very finely diced) or chop in the meat grinder or food processor.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, onion, capers, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, whisk.
Add the meat to the sauce and parsley. Adjust the seasoning.
Dress the mix in a dome shape in the center of the plate and serve … with French fries!
Some chefs like to serve the egg yolk on top, to mix yourself. It adds a little fun to the recipe.
- 250 g fresh beef, fillet or other tender cut
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped capers
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of ketchup
- A few drops of Tabasco sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley
Yes, Steak Tartare Is Safe to Eat
If you're the kind of diner that tends to shy away from restaurants that serve dishes like foie gras and escargot, then you probably have reservations about steak tartare, too.
But don't let the ingredients turn you off. Steak tartare is actually a delightful and surprisingly approachable dish with roots in French, American and even Mongolian cuisines. So, how did a dish requiring such bravery from those who first ate it end up a beacon of fine dining?
What Is Steak Tartare?
First, steak tartare is a combination of raw beef mixed with any variety of accompaniments, but most commonly raw egg yolk, capers, pickles and other seasonings like Worcestershire sauce or Dijon mustard. The meat is cut into small cubes or is finely chopped in a food processor and then the seasonings are added. Steak tartare is usually served with a side of french fries or crostini.
An often-repeated myth is that steak tartare in its simplest form of raw meat can be traced back to 13th-century Mongolia where soldiers under Genghis Khan called Tatars, who were unable to sit down for real meals, consumed raw meat for sustenance.
The 17th-century book "Description d l 'Ukraine," which translates to "A Description of Ukraine," describes how horsemen would "cut the meat with two fingers of thickness" and place it under their saddles to both tenderize and "cleanse the blood of the flesh," thus making it safer to eat.
This myth has been debunked, though. "The Cambridge Medieval History" suggests the Tatars were simply using the raw meat to heal their horses' sores, noting the meat would have been inedible by the end of the day.
Fast forward hundreds of years to 20th-century Paris and the raw chopped beefsteak (called beefsteak a l'americaine) began appearing on menus at grand hotels across the country, cementing it as part of French cuisine — and as a "high class" delicacy to be eaten by the elite.
Only the Best Beef Will Do
"Steak tartare can be made from raw ground (minced) beef or any red meat," says chef Ariane Daguin, CEO of D'Artagnan in Union, New Jersey, and pioneer in the farm-to-table movement. "Bison tartare and venison tartare are very tasty. It is usually served with onions, capers, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and other seasonings — often presented to diners separately — to be added for taste with a raw egg yolk on top of the dish."
Daguin says the type of meat used is typically up to who's making it (tuna tartare is also common), but the best-tasting tartare comes from the tenderloin.
But what about eating raw beef? We all know the risks and how easy it is for bacteria to enter the body, potentially wreaking havoc on the digestive system. So, is eating steak tartare dangerous?
Not necessarily. E. coli is still a very real threat to those who eat raw meat (particularly beef), as the types of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness is killed only when beef is cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius). The USDA warns against eating steak tartare, "cannibal sandwiches" and other uncooked beef due to the risk of foodborne illness.
"The USDA recommends you cook all meat," Daguin says. "However, when basic hygienic rules are followed and fresh meat is used, the risk of bacterial infection is low."
McGill University's Office for Science and Society says if you trust the butcher and restaurant to take the meticulous steps ensure the cut of meat used is stored and prepared properly (single prep area just for tartare, special sanitation methods for knives and cutting boards, and serving immediately), eating steak tartare is perfectly OK.
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Want to top your steak tartare off with a nice glass of wine? Ariane Daguin recommends pairing it with a hearty red wine to bring out the flavors of the meat.
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound best-quality beef tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 11/2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- Crostini, for serving
In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of the parsley and the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
In a medium bowl, mix the meat with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon mayonnaise, the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop the meat.
Transfer the tartare to cold plates. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the chopped onion and the remaining parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the herb mayonnaise, mustard and crostini.
How to Make Restaurant-Quality Beef Tartare at Home
I can sum up why people are intimated by making beef tartare at home in two words: Raw beef.
Of course, raw is the whole point of tartare—without the rawness, you've got loose, cooked meat. Trust me, that's not as good as raw.
The truth about beef tartare is that it's totally safe to make at home. And when you follow the five steps below, you're at-home tartare can be as good as those you get at restaurants. Only better, because you cooked—or, rather, didn't cook—this tartare yourself.
When you're not cooking the stuff, the quality of the beef you buy matters more than ever. If you've got a local butcher or specialty meat shop, this is the time to pay a visit. While flank and skirt steak are great for grilling, you want beef tenderloin—home to prized cuts like filet mignon and chateaubriand—for tartare. Why? Because the tenderloin is home to the most tender meat on the animal (it's built right into the name, after all). And the more tender the meat, the less chance you'll encounter chewy bites of gristle.
I know, I know—that tenderloin is expensive, and you probably don't want to throw it in the freezer. But hear me out: A quick, 15-minute stint in the freezer ensures that the meat firms up. And that will make it a heck of a lot easier to handle than if it was at room or even fridge temperature.
While you're at it, throw everything you're working with—mixing bowls and whatever plates you're planning to serve on—into the freezer for a bit. Nobody likes a warm tartare.
No need to mess with fancy meat grinders when making tartare at home. Instead, grab the sharpest chef's knife you have, cut the tenderloin into very thin slices (about 1/8" thick). Then, stacking a few slices at a time, cut the meat crosswise, again forming very thin strips (about 1/8" thick). Finally, gather a few strips together and dice crosswise, cutting the beef into 1/8" cubes.
So you've got a pile of raw beef on your cutting board. Now, the mix-ins. Because the best tartares are defined by their mix-ins, obvs. My standard roster includes chopped flat-leaf parsley, salty capers, and finely chopped shallot.
But that's just the beginning. Want to add a crunch to your tartare? Fry up those chopped shallots in a bit of olive oil. Cherry peppers and jalapeño make a nice sweet-spicy pair. And for a creamy, fatty element, shower the whole thing with grated cheese.
Any tartare worth its weight should be accompanied by a few things. Like lightly toasted slices of baguette to pile tartare on, (bread beats forks any day). And a pickled element to cut through the rich beef—cornichons or pickled onions. An egg yolk thrown into the bowl binds everything together and adds richness (I like to serve it on the plate and mix it in later, if only for the fact that it looks cooler on Instagram). Last but non-negotiable: a swipe of Dijon mustard.
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Steak tartare is usually associated with both Parisian bistros and the Tartars who gave the dish its name, but it goes well beyond that. If you are able to get your hands on top-quality beef, this is a great way to serve it. Try it over a bed of mesclun or served with toast points or french fries as they do at the Polo Lounge.
What to buy: Because you will be serving the meat raw, be sure to buy it from a reputable source, and tell your butcher that you will be preparing it as tartare so he or she gives you the best cut.
Use pasteurized or very fresh eggs from a reputable source.
Game plan: Keep the beef covered and refrigerated until you are ready to use it.
FRENCH STEAK TARTARE ORIGIN
The French-style Tartare requires some fixed ingredients and some others optional to enrich even more this recipe, like Worcestershire sauce and anchovies.
The original name of this tasty recipe is “Le steak at l’Americaine”, but the origin of this name is unknown.
One of the most ancient descriptions of French Steak Tartare is by writer Jules Verne in his novel Michel Strogoff (1875), and become the signature dish of the restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, “Le Jules Verne”.
The great Chef Auguste Escoffier published his version of the steak tartare in the Fourth edition of his Cookbook “Le Guide Culinaire”(1921). In the Escoffier variation, the meat has not been seasoned with yolks and served along with Tartare Sauce.
In 1938, another great chef, Prosper Montagné wrote another version of the Tartare in his book “Larousse Gastronomique”. The Montagne variation requires yolks instead of the Tartare sauce.
Chill beef in freezer 15 minutes cut into ¼" pieces. Mix beef, capers, parsley, oil, cherry pepper, and shallot in a chilled large bowl season with salt.
Divide tartare among chilled plates and top with egg yolks season with salt and black pepper. Serve with mustard, cornichons, and toast.
*Raw egg and beef are not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems.
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