Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why Steak Tartare?

As I was watching Iron Chef tonight, I wondered something - what is Steak Tartare, and why can we eat it?

Legend has, the Tartare tribe (who were so bad, that they are the reason the Great Wall of China was erected), were so busy causing mayhem, that they would carry cuts of meat seasoned with spices under their saddles. They wanted to eat, they whipped the meat out from under the saddle, and took a bite.


3 medium oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional, adjust salt if added), rinsed and minced
2 teaspoons brined capers, drained and rinsed
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large egg yolks
10 ounces USDA prime beef tenderloin, cut into small dice, covered, and refrigerated
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon crushed chile flakes (optional)

Combine anchovies (if using), capers, and mustard in a nonreactive bowl. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash ingredients until evenly combined; mix in egg yolks.

Use a rubber spatula to fold remaining ingredients into mustard mixture until thoroughly combined. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with toast points or french fries.

They advise that if you intend to serve the meat tartare style, to let your butcher know, so s/he can be certain to give you the freshest cuts.

At any rate, the trick seems to be in the cut and treatment of the beef, that allows it to be eaten in a raw state. Got to say - I hear you, but I'm not convinced I'd try it. I'll take a Vegetable Tartare, thanks. ;)

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