Steak Tartare – Part Un (from The Best Steak Tartare in Paris)
If ever there was a dish designed to test the strength of your internal organs, steak tartare is it. Raw meat and raw egg are Ecoli‘s best friends. Vegetarians and vegans, pregnant women, young children, or those of a nervous disposition, should look away now.
I love it (I totally live on the edge… yeah, of London). Whenever I am in Paris, or Bordeaux, or wherever steak tartare is on the menu, my choice is made. The 2 key things to remember for keeping it (and the rest of the food from the past 48 hours) on the inside of you and not the toilet bowl, are quality ingredients and hygiene. Raw egg does not give you food poisoning; bacteria does. Raw meat does not give you food poisoning; bacteria does. The steak should be the best quality you can find and vacuum-packed. The egg should be free range, have a quality control stamp and be well before its best before date. When you handle the ingredients, ensure you have scrupulously clean hands and are using a chopping board and knife that have been so well sterilised you could perform surgery with them (I’m not sure how you’d use the board in surgery… maybe to anaesthetise the patient with a good smack over the head).
If you’re nervous of eating raw meat and egg, let me persuade you:
1. It’s perfect if you’re lazy: It really is so very simple. Finely dice the large ingredients, add the smaller ingredients, add the egg yolk and mix. Voilà.
2. It’s perfect if you’re short of time, or greedy, and don’t want to wait for your food: No cooking, you just prep and eat.
3. Last but by no means least… it is delicieux. Surprisingly for raw meat, it tastes delicate and fresh and full of healthiness.
Man up and dare to do it. I promise you you won’t regret it and, like me, you’ll end up wanting to try it wherever you find it.
During my research, I found there were 2 types of recipe to make steak tartare: one that relies on Dijon mustard, and one that uses mustard, tabasco and worcestershire sauce. So for my first attempt I have tried the simpler, but I will return for Part Deux in the next few weeks to try the alternative. But also, where better place to start than a blog that calls itself “The Best Steak Tartare in Paris“?
The original recipe can be found here, but I have adapted it a little to suit a more delicate palate. I served mine with freshly baked slices of spelt & sunflower bread, which added to the farmhouse feel of this dish.
Need This (for 2)
250g sirloin steak / 3-4 cornichons / 2 banana shallots / 2-3 tsp capers / 1 tbsp Dijon mustard / 1 egg yolk / salt & pepper / extra virgin olive oil
dice steak & shallots / add rest of ingredients / mix / pack into ramekins & turn out onto plate