Monday, 10 January 2011

Steak tartare with chips

Over Christmas I started to compile a list of dishes I should have made by now but haven't. On the list was steak tartare. Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be the recipient of someone's re-gifting - Nicola of The Shed Likes Food was given two copies of the book "Cured: salted * spiced * dried * smoked * potted * pickled * raw" by Lindy Wildsmith and Nicola gave her extra copy to me with the wishes "may my surplus present bring you culinary joy". And so it was to be that I first found culinary joy with steak tartare in the "Raw" chapter of the book.
I decided that I could only tick "steak tartare" off my list in good faith if I had finely chopped the beef myself, instead of getting the butcher to mince it. I found a lovely rump steak from Northfields Farm at Broadway Market, sharpened my knife and went to work. I should just note at this stage, that if you're similarly inclined, don't prepare this for more than 2 people unless you're willing to devote hours to chopping meat.
Clearly, if you're going to prepare your own beef, it seems wrong to then just crack open a jar of bought mayonnaise. What would people say? So, it being a lazy Saturday afternoon, I made my own mayonnaise. My tip is to have plans for roasting a chicken and making sandwiches the next day, because it's hard to justify making a pot of your own mayo when you only use a few tablespoons for the steak tartare.
The dinner was looking far too healthy and carb-free at this point, so I was forced to make crispy, hot chips to compensate.
The result was a gorgeous dinner, which felt deceptively indulgent. The prep can be time consuming, or it can not be - it's up to you.
Steak tartare
("Cured" by Lindy Wildsmith)
I made the recipe to serve 2.
200g-300g minced or very finely chopped sirloin or fillet of beef (I used about 300g of delicious rump steak which was a bit too much for Y & I, but if you're feeding a bloke, go ahead. It goes without saying that you should buy the best local beef you can afford)

1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
to go with:
2 free range egg yolks
cocktail gherkins/pickled cucumbers, chopped
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed & chopped
2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (I made my own but you can buy a good quality one instead. Here are some recipes - I made mine with olive oil.)
Using your hands, mix the meat, onion, olive oil, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and parsley well and season with salt & pepper.

To serve create a ball/patty from half the meat and place on a serving plate. Make a slight indentation in the top of each patty and place the egg yolk in it.
Serve with the garnishes - mayonnaise, gherkins, capers. To eat, mix the meat with the garnishes as you like. I served mine with hot chips. As this steak tartare is served at room temperature, you can have it ready to go and fry your chips at the last minute.

Hot Chips
I used 3 large potatoes (Kind Edward or Maris Piper) for 2 people as there is quite a lot of wastage if you want nice square cut chips.
Slice the potato into wedges, place in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add salt.
Bring the water to the boil and cook the potato until the chips become fluffy and some start to fall apart a little.

Drain the chips and allow them to dry a little.
Heat vegetable/sunflower/canola oil in a large frying pan. You'll probably need a litre bottle of oil. There are recipes that give you the correct temperature for the oil, but I just dip the end of a chip in the oil and see if it starts sizzling. If not, wait a bit longer for the oil to get hotter and test it again.
I cooked my chips in two batches. Using a slotted spoon you can tell when they're done because they look golden and delicious and, well, good enough to eat!

Drain on paper towel and salt.
I served my chips in cones made from magazine pages. My life wouldn't be worth living if I didn't acknolwedge that I got this idea from my best friend in New York - we stayed with Mel & her husband at Christmas and at Christmas lunch Mel prepared crispy curly kale with sea salt & lemon zest, served in brown paper cones.
P.S. Save your egg whites from the tartare & the mayo, as I've got a recipe for little friand cakes coming up!


tori said...

I was JUST thinking this the other day! It's a staple that the husband and I order every time we go to a bistro, but have never attempted at home. You've inspired me. Thank you!
NB, recently moved to London and have just discovered your blog. I love it :)

The Shed said...


Also, may I say, yummers. Looks really good, must try and tick it off my own list shortly. What's next? Beef wellies? Shellfish bisque? Croquembouche?

Raluca said...

I was wondering how this turned out! Seems like it was a great dinner! I will have to try this myself ;).

Kitty said...

Oh baby, baby! This is something the girls and I eat a LOT! But then, here I can buy the meat already prepared for steak tartar, then just add the minced capers, shallots (instead of onions) and cornichons. So, less effort but still yummy.

I always serve it with hot toast, must try the chips instead. But... it will need to be sea-salted G A R L I C mayo.

Wow, I'm starving now....

Gourmet Chick said...

Lex this looks great and I am super impressed you hand chopped all that steak.

Melissa said...

Too funny! You continue to amaze me!

Swedish Meatball said...

Steak tartare! I've been thinking about it for the last week and all your hand chopping has inspired me to cook it instead of ordering it... Impressed!

LexEat! said...

Thanks for the comment Tori and welcome to London! I hope the steak tartare is as good as you have in bistros!

The Shed - next up is souffles, english muffins with poached eggs & hollandaise, and some experimenting with my Australian spices!

Hi Raluca - you Romanians love weird stuff raw (like pork fat!) so surely you've made this before!?

Kitty, your version sounds gorgeous, especially the garlic mayo!

Gourmet Chick - thank you! I may not have embarked upon chopping it myself had I know how long it would take!

Melissa - and you me!

Swedish Meatball - do try it. I hope it lives up to the standard you're accustomed to eating in restaurants!

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