Steak Tartare

WARNING: Consuming raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, shellfish and eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have a medical condition.

Steak tartare has always been a favorite and with a slight twist it's easy to do low carb. Traditionally steak tartare is served with toast points or baguette slices; instead I serve it with seedless cucumber slices and a few tomato slices for variety. The cucumber complements the meat nicely and lightens up the overall flavor.

Much of the safety concerns around raw beef are for meat ground in an industrial facility where there is more opportunity for contaminants to get mixed in to the beef. If you consider the exterior surface of ground meat to include all of the surface of each individual strand of ground meat that is then packed together then it's easier to understand how much more surface area there is to risk exposure. Compounding that is once the ground beef is packaged together those exterior surfaces are now interior and impossible to clean.

I use only organic grass feed beef from a local butcher that I trust and who knows that I am planning to use his beef for steak tartare. Sirloin has a meatier flavor; tenderloin has a richer taste.

Steak tartare can be served as an appetizer or main course. Below is my basic recipe for 1/2 lb, everything scales easily, except the egg yolk - add one egg yolk for every 3/4 lb. It's also possible to use pasteurized egg yolks, which I should probably try some day when I have time.

I use a small and inexpensive grinder from Norpro and just throw the whole thing in the freezer earlier in the day

Picture of Norpro plastic meatgrinder

Steak tartare recipe

Beforehand - place meat grinder blade and coarse mincing blade, or the whole grinder if you have room, in freezer a couple hours ahead of time and a serving platter and the meat 30 minutes ahead.

1/2 lb sirloin or tenderloin, chilled
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons brined capers, drained
1 tablespoon red onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional to taste
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce(4 if no anchovy)
2 - 3 dashes Franks or Tabasco hot sauce
large dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 anchovy filet, rinsed and finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (optional)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small tomato, sliced with the slices cut in half

There are two schools of thought on meat preparation for tartare - grind or dice; I prefer coarsely ground. Either way you need to prepare beforehand by placing the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes before grinding or dicing.

If you are making using than 1 1/2 lbs of meat, then you'll want to change up the order a bit - put the meat in the freezer 45 minutes before grinding, then grind and put back in freezer before doing the rest of the prep. If prep takes longer than 15 minutes or you get tied up, move the meat to the fridge.

While the meat is in the freezer do your prep work - chop the onion and anchovy and separate the egg yolk.

Using a fork and a medium sized bowl mash the capers and anchovy together with the mustard.

Still using the fork or a small spatula, gently mix in egg yolk, onion, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, red pepper and parsley to the mustard/caper/anchovy until evenly blended.

Take the grinder out of the freezer, or the grinder parts and assemble the grinder, as appropriate

Remove the meat from the freezer and cut into 1 - 1 1/2" pieces then run run it through the grinder twice.

Place the meat in the bowl and mix in with your hands, season with salt, pepper and additional olive oil to taste.

To serve, mound the tartare in the center of the platter and place cucumber and tomato slices around the edge.