Gastro DIY: Beef Tartar

While steak tartare first gained popularity in the 19th and early 20th century, it has experienced a renaissance in modern cuisine. While the dish is rather simple to make, it doesn’t come without some serious health risks. For this reason, many diners leave its preparation in the hands of professionals. Beef tartare is daunting, delicious and evokes an instinctive sensuality that only eating raw meat can provide.
This dish is always the best received, upon first glance by my house guests. Usually met with surprise and perhaps a little hesitation, it never fails to leave them wanting more. While preparing it at home can be uncharted territory, you can realize its beautiful simplicity with some of this advice.

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Quality: Be sure to get your beef from a butcher shop that can provide you with high quality, local, organic beef. Let them know you will be eating it raw and they could cut it fresh for you. I use beef tenderloin for mine however some people prefer striploin, sirloin and many cheaper cuts of beef.

Preparation: You should consume the beef as soon as possible. If the meat has started to brown, it’s too late. As most bacteria reside on the exterior of the steak, you should cover the outside of the steak with a generous layer of salt about an hour before preparation. As well, try to keep the beef and your mixing bowl cold, up until the final preparation.

Cutting the beef: Be sure you have a very sharp knife. Begin by removing any larger pieces of fat from the steak. Making vertical and horizontal cuts, the end result should be pieces about the size of a kernel of corn. Too small and it will just be a mush.

Eggs: If you choose to use egg yolk and are worried about salmonella, be sure to use fresh pasteurized eggs.
What else?: The ingredient list for tartare can be long or short. Purists insist that the meat should be the star and too many ingredients will mask its taste. I enjoy a tartare chalk full of ingredients like Dijon, gherkins, sriracha, brandy, Parmigiano Reggianno and truffle oil just to name a few.

Delivery mechanism: Simple crostini or toastettes work nicely, as soft breads will get mushy upon first contact. Toasted breads provide a contrast in textures, adding the necessary balance. Kettle cooked potato chips are also a favourite of mine, as are taro root chips.

Timing: The last step on the prep should be to add the raw ingredients to your mix. You want to keep the beef as cold (and as fresh) as possible before consumption.

Presentation: Using a mold or just with your hands, form the mix into the shape of a puck. If you like, the egg yolk can be placed on top, to let your guests mix their own. As well, be sure to provide them with enough bread or chips to get the job done.
Additionally, your recipe may call for olive oil, brandy, Dijon, hot sauce and\or Worcestershire. Too much liquid will create a soggy pile of beef, so make sure you are not using too much. And finally, be sure to finely chop all of your ingredients so that no large chunks are visible.
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Cameron’s Beef Tartare

Serves 2-4


1 butcher cut 10oz beef tenderloin
2 TBSP capers
3 TBSP DIjon mustard
2 egg yolks
2 TBSP finely minced shallots
2 Gherkins finely diced
2TBSP finely minced Italian parsley
3 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
2 dashes of Sriracha sauce
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 oz of Brandy
3-4 drops of truffle oil
grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 bag of kettle cooked potato chips

1) One hour before preparation, generously salt outside of tenderloin and return to fridge

2) Mix your mustard and capers in a cold large bowl. Use a two forks to shred the capers and mix with the mustard.

3) Add shallots, gherkins, parsley, olive oil, sriracha, Worcestershire, brandy and truffle oil to mustard and mix well. Set aside in fridge.

3) On a clean cutting board, begin by removing all large chunks of fat from the streak. Next, cut the steak in half inch strips lengthwise about a quarter of the steak at a time. Put the lengthwise cut steak on their sides and again make a lengthwise cut of about half an inch. Finally make the final cross cut of the pieces which should result in chunks about the size of a pieces of corn. Continue process until all of the steak has been cut.

4) Mix two egg yolks into mustard mix and follow by adding the raw beef and mixing well.

5) Spoon the steak mixture into your mold and place on your serving plate. Gently lift the mold, releasing your tartare.

6) Top with grated Parigiano and serve with potato chips.
[/highlight] [divider top=”no” text=”Read more”] Get my recipe for homemade beef tartare here. Follow me on twitter @cameronlyman