What is French Steak Tartare?
Steak tartare is a French dish made from raw ground beef or horse meat. It is usually served with onions, capers, and seasonings, often presented to the diner separately, to be combined according to taste. The name tartare is sometimes generalized to other raw meat or fish dishes.
Tartare, a French word that means to be served raw, is a dish of finely chopped meat. Traditionally, it was made from the ground muscle tissue of wild horses; today, it is most often made with beef or salmon. It's usually eaten as an appetizer, but it can also be used in sandwiches and burgers.
In France, tartare is often eaten raw and seasoned with capers and herbs. Some restaurants in the UK will serve tartare plain if asked; otherwise, it may be served cooked or seared.
Steak Tartare is safe to eat
The short answer is yes; provided the meat is fresh and you have a reliable source for that meat. For example, many chefs like to use a cut from the tenderloin called filet mignon, and there are plenty of online sources for premium quality cuts. But you could also use high-end steakhouse quality UK strip steaks, as long as they're fresh.
- Most people season the raw meat with salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, a little lemon juice to brighten the flavor and bring out the color of the meat itself, plus capers and diced shallots. Other possible ingredients include finely chopped onion or sweet pickle relish. There's some debate over adding raw egg yolk, but I'm not in favor of it.
- There also are variations that include avocado, blue cheese, or even chopped hard-boiled eggs. One recipe I came across adds sesame oil and wasabi paste (but no soy sauce).
The beef itself is not the problem. It's the preparation of the beef that can cause trouble.
When you hear about food poisoning outbreaks, it's usually because it was prepared improperly and bacteria grew in it. This can happen with raw or undercooked meats and eggs, pre-washed salads, or any other food that isn't cooked or handled properly.
- Tartare is a special case because the meat is never cooked before eating. That means if any bad bacteria are lurking on it, they're going to stick around for the meal.
- However, this doesn't mean steak tartare is always unsafe to eat. As long as the ingredients were handled properly from harvest to plate, you're good to go.
Restaurants make sure they only buy meat from reputable suppliers who follow strict food safety guidelines. Some restaurants will also add an extra step of "searing" the meat by quickly flash-frying it on each side before serving. This doesn't cook it through but can help kill off germs on its surface.
What kind of meat is used for steak tartare?
Steak tartare is a meat dish made from ground meat (often beef) that has not been cooked. Steak tartare is usually served with onions, capers, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, sometimes with a raw egg yolk on top.
- Steak tartare is most commonly made from beef but can be prepared using horsemeat or venison. It is generally served with an accompaniment such as chopped onions, capers, and seasonings (including Worcestershire sauce), either on the side or mixed into the raw meat before serving.
- Occasionally it is filled with a raw egg yolk on top of the dish; the yolk can be broken and integrated into the meat or remain as a whole to dip forkfuls of tartare into. Various spices, including black pepper, Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce, might also be added.
Some chefs specialize in serving steak tartare; one writer described Alain Senderens's steak tartare at Lucas Carton in Paris as "a veritable sculpture," while another writer said that at Le Voltaire in Paris, "the tartare was offered in an enormous silver bowl."
What to serve with steak tartare
If you're a fan of steak tartare, you know that it's one of the most delicious appetizers in the world. But do you know what to serve with it?
Here are a few ideas from our friends at Serious Eats.
- The safest bet is to pair your steak tartare with a French baguette. Toasted and spread with butter, this crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside treat is delicious enough to eat on its own (and can easily be made into crostini) but also creates a perfect foundation for your meat mixture. The crunchy texture contrasts nicely with the tenderness of the beef, and its mild taste lets the beef shine.
- Try serving your steak tartare on cucumber slices instead of bread for a more unexpected pairing. This is a classic French way to serve it and works particularly well if you're looking for a gluten-free option. The cucumbers' cool flavor and slight wateriness cleanse the palate between bites, allowing you to enjoy each taste as if it were your first.
Serving Steak Tartare
To serve, you can either pile it onto a plate and place the egg yolk on top (which is how it's traditionally done) or make a small well in the center of the beef mixture and place the egg yolk there.
Toast is a must with steak tartare: if you want to serve it with salad, go for a crunchy fresh salad with finely sliced vegetables. You could also serve it with French fries or baked potato, but I prefer simple steamed new potatoes.
How the beef in steak tartare is traditionally served?
The beef in steak tartare is traditionally served raw. That may sound scary, but the fact is that you're eating beef raw all the time — when you eat a hamburger or a steak. The only difference with steak tartare is that you're not cooking it ahead of time, so if you're going to do this, make sure to use very fresh meat and follow a few other simple guidelines given by foodnetwork website.
- To make steak tartare, start with top-quality beef tenderloin. Trim off any fat or gristle and cut the meat into small cubes or a fine mince.
- Season the beef well with salt (it's common to add a little sauce as well), then arrange it neatly on a plate. Traditionally, egg yolk is placed in the center of the pile of meat, although some people prefer to leave it out.
Steak Tartare is a classic dish of Raw Beef, chopped or minced and served with various condiments and sauces. There are no hard and fast rules about what goes into a steak tartare, but it usually includes capers, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, anchovies, and raw egg yolk. In addition to the ingredients mentioned earlier, you can also add chopped onions, chives, and parsley.
Steak tartare is traditionally served on a bed of lettuce with toast points. Take precautions when eating raw meat. Consult your physician if you are pregnant or have serious health issues before consuming steak tartare.
- Most wine and food pairing guides would say to go with red wine, but I'd take it a step further and say you want a red wine with bold tannins.
- The reason for this is that the raw beef will soften the tannins in the wine and make it taste smoother. The stronger the tannins to start with, the more dramatic this effect can be. This is why a big Cabernet or Malbec goes very well with steak tartare.
If you decide to go white, try one of the fuller-bodied options like a Chardonnay with some oak treatment (for example, Meursault) or an oaked Chardonnay from Chile.
How can you eat raw Beef Tartare?
Raw beef tartare is a dish that is served to us in restaurants. However, the dish has certain conditions, such as:
- The meat should be fresh and of good quality
- The meat must be cut with a knife and not with a grinder not to become too fine. This will give the meat an indelicate texture.
- The meat must be seasoned with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce just before serving.
- The meat must be served very cold.
- A raw egg yolk is added to the dish at the moment of serving to give it more flavors. This prevents bacteria from reproducing in the egg yolk.
Raw beef is safe to eat if it's fresh and has been stored properly (in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not on the door). But any meat used in raw dishes like steak tartare must be frozen first to kill parasites or bacteria.
When freezing meat, the key is to make sure it's completely frozen all the way through before thawing, cooking, and eating. That lets you kill any bugs without compromising quality.
Wines that goes well with Steak Tartare
Steak tartare is one of those dishes that I can't help but love, even though it's just a pile of meat with some bits and pieces mixed in. It's a preparation that always seems to bring out the joys of the raw cow (at its best) and the worst of the raw cow (when it's not). That said, it's a dish that always pairs very nicely with wine because so many different styles of wines seem to make a great match. Here are some suggestions.
The crisp acidity in many examples of this white grape is ideal for cutting through the fat in steak tartare. A well-balanced sauvignon Blanc from France will usually make a great partner for this dish.
A dry rosé made from pinot noir or syrah is an ideal foil for steak tartare, especially if you're eating it later in the day (which is when I usually get around to my first bowl). The slight sweetness and fruit flavors in rosés balance well with the earthiness of the meat. While providing enough acidity to cut through any oiliness on the palate.
This is ideal for steak tartare by the recipe of lenaskitchenblog.
Unusual about Steak Tartare
Steak tartare is a meat dish made from raw ground (minced) beef or horse meat. It is usually served with onions, capers, seasonings, sometimes with raw egg yolk, and often on rye bread.
The name tartare is sometimes generalized to other raw meat or fish dishes. Although less common than the natural variety, a version served in France of steak tartare is called tartare aller-retour. It is a mound of mostly raw steak tartare lightly seared on one side of the patty.
How can you eat Steak Tartare and not get Sick?
It's a common question that often comes up with raw meat dishes. In short, if the meat is fresh and well-chilled, you're unlikely to run into any problems get into en Wikipedia.
Yes, there are some risks to be aware of, but they're easy to avoid. To learn more about eating steak tartare and its cousins safely, check out this article on the subject from our friends at Serious Eats.
- People who have eaten steak tartare and not gotten sick have probably been lucky. Steak tartare is a dish of raw meat, traditionally beef that has been chopped into small pieces by hand and then mixed with various seasonings, such as salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, minced onions or chives, capers, or raw egg yolk. The mixture is usually served with crackers, toast points, or bread.
- The best way to prevent foodborne illness from eating steak tartare is to cook it thoroughly before eating it. If you want to eat raw meat, try sushi instead — make sure the fish used for sushi is fresh and has been frozen first to kill any parasites present in the flesh.
Sauces for steak tartare
Steak tartare is raw beef, which means you have to be careful. Here are some of the best sauces to serve with it:
Dijon mustard: It's a classic with a reason.
Worcestershire sauce: The flavor is as bold as steak tartare itself.
Sriracha or Tabasco: For a nice kick!
Soy sauce: Add oriental flavor to your beef.
Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise): A classic French accompaniment, especially if you're serving the tartare on bread instead of a plate.