This has become a birthday ritual for me. Not that it’s my birthday; not for ages. I’m hoping that the younglings will adopt it so that I can guarantee making it at least 3 times a year.
This dish is all about the beef. ALL ABOUT THE BEEF. Like sushi, it needs to be excellent quality, from a reputable source and trimmed of any fat or sinew. I always use beautiful, delicate fillet, chilled and cut by hand as the texture is everything – you certainly don’t want to end up with a burger patty. You can of course use rump or sirloin if you prefer more flavour and bite. I’d recommend about 150g per person.
I think everyone that makes Tartare for themselves has their own style and particular way of preparing it. Your biggest concern will be whether to incorporate the condiments or not. I have to admit that it can look less appealing (and more like an uncooked burger) without. Although I’d still eat it of course.
Once you have your beef diced to your liking, mix in chopped capers, shallot, flatleaf parsley, gherkin, Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce, extra virgin olive oil and season it with salt and pepper (rough quantities below if it’s your first time). As I say, you can always serve these condiments on the side and let people mix them in to taste. Form it by hand or use a little mould/ring.
Finally, make a tiny well in the centre and adorn your creation with the freshest free range egg yolk you can lay your hands on. Raw of course.
I seem to remember TV shows like ‘Mr Bean’ giving Tartare a bad reputation. Meat and egg, raw, are you mad? Trust me, you’ve not lived until you have eaten Steak Tartare.
Here’s the solution if you’re like me and can’t decide on the condiment front – have it all. Serve with a few chips, maybe some chives and Dijon mustard; whatever you like. I’ve gently persuaded plenty of friends to try it, and all have fallen in love with this almost sensual dish.
Ingredients: (per person)
- 150g Steak
- 1/2 tsp Capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
- 1 tbsp Flatleaf Parsley, chopped
- 1 Shallot, finely diced
- 1 Gherkin, finely diced
- Dash of Tobasco Sauce
- Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
- Dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Flaky Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper.