The World Food Challenge of today is in honor of my own country, France. For the occasion, I’ve decided to call it with a longer title than the usual. Eat a Steak Tartare at Home as if you were Having Lunch in a French Restaurant. How about that?!
I just love Steak Tartare. Whenever I go to the restaurant and crave for red meat, once out of three times I’ll go for a Steak Tartare with fries. But I must admit that recently, I’ve chosen to avoid eating out when it’s Summer and when I want a fresh and nice steak tartare. The reason simply resides in lots of food issues we read here and there about how some eateries have troubles dealing with food hygiene during the summertime, although this is the highest touristic season and they should be more prepared for it. Food sanitary matters may sometimes (only in some places) be a concern to me when I know I might be ordering raw meat based dishes, as in example a bad storing process, or a bad food quantities management be harmful to the restaurant customers when it comes to dealing with sensitive ingredients such as meat. So, because of all these, it’s been a few years now that, when Summer comes, I take my mom’s steak tartare recipe out my recipes box, and start preparing my own, at home. And it just tastes as good as the Steak Tartare you would have for lunch in most good French restaurants (and costs three times less, by the way!). I can tell I master this recipe pretty well, because I’ve eaten quite my fair amount of Steak Tartare in my life, at home or at the restaurant! Today, as Summer is slowly coming to an end, is probably the last time of the year that I make homemade Steak Tartare because I will soon go back to eating it at the restaurant again.
What actually is Steak Tartare? A combination of all kinds of raw ingredients, none of them is actually cooked at any moment of the making process. It’s a very popular dish in France, it’s tasty and singular, it has a texture like no other dish, it’s quite refreshing I would say, and is very fulfilling. The raw beef must be top fresh, for flavour as well as for health matters. There are two types of beef preparation you can process with. Either you choose the tartare “au couteau” or simply use ground beef. A steak tartare “au couteau” usually may come a bit more expensive at the restaurant, because it means that it is hand minced (very thinly) with a knife (and takes time). It doesn’t mean the piece of meat is more expensive than the one used for ground beef, as the butchers will all confirm that the part of the cow that is used for minced tartare does not matter at all as long as you mince it super thin, as it should. Ground beef will be processed by a machine and gives a softer result though, because of a totally different texture. In the end, choosing one or the other all comes down to your own taste, I personally always go for the ground beef because I like a soft chew. I know lots of people worldwide won’t ever tried to eat a steak tartare because it also includes a raw egg, whites and yolk (as if raw meat was not enough raw in one dish!). They see us French people as crazy frog eaters (which by the way I hate), snail eaters (I hate those even more), and now raw animal parts eaters, and totally forget about our legendary taste for good foods. Although the raw egg has nothing to be disgusted about here, you don’t just plain eat it, but it is only used to link and easily combine all the other ingredients together. And then you finally have all the condiments, which quantities for each you can play a bit around with, depending on how plain or hot or sour you like your Steak Tartare. I give you here my recipe inspired from my mom’s. Steak Tartare usually goes well with regular French fries and green salad, but today I’ve made potato and sweet potato wedges for a change.
- 350 grams of ground beef
- 5 tbsp of Ketchup
- 3 tbsp of black Worcestershire sauce
- 1 raw egg (small)
- 1 shallot (very thinly minced)
- 5 to 6 short French pickles or 1 big American Kosher pickle (very thinly minced)
- 1 tbsp of Dijon hot mustard
- 2 tbsp of minced fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp of capers (optional)
- 1 tbsp of Mayonnaise (optional, but I must admit it’s better with it than without…)
- salt and pepper
- a few drops (or more) of Tabasco
- There’s no easier than that: just combine all the ingredients.
- Store in the fridge for 15 minutes or serve immediately.
- To plate it nicely as in trendy French restaurants, you can use a circular metal mold and shape it perfectly.
Before you go, did you know my first cookbook got published? It’s called Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen, and it’s available online, you’re just a click away, RIGHT HERE!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.