Do you plan to become a zombie, but have a hard time with raw meat? There’s a delicious and classic way to get used to the texture and flavor – steak tartare.
Urban legend contends that steak tartare was invented by the Tatar or Tartar people, a group native Eastern Europe and Russia. The tribe spent so much time fighting and traveling on horseback that they didn’t have time to chop up their meat; instead, they put slabs of meat beneath their saddles for easier transit. The combination of spices in the current version were supposedly spices used to cover the flavor of rancid meat and horse sweat.
However, this legend is only urban myth, as it turns out. Steak tartare was invented in the 19th century in France, and served at posh French restaurants with the name steack a l’Americaine. Initially, the dish had tartar sauce or horseradish on the side, and was not served with a raw egg yolk. The name was eventually changed to, simply, steack tartare, which simply means “with tartar sauce.”
Although you could chop up a piece of steak and eat it, the combination of Worchestershire sauce, pepper, onions, and capers makes steak tartare delicious and rich. It’s a great way to get your palate used to the texture and flavor of raw meat, before you become a member of the human-eating undead. Additionally, while most steak tartare recipes call for beef, you can also make it with horse meat, thereby reinacting that scene from the first season of “The Walking Dead.”
Here’s a few recipes:
Emeril Lagasse’s Steak Tartare:
Assorted fresh greens
12 ounces beef tenderloin or sirloin
Hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
4 slices of white bread, crusts removed, brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted
Extra-virgin olive oil
Garnish 2 plates with the fresh greens.
Place the beef on a cutting board and finely chop with a very sharp knife. Season to taste with Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and black pepper. Shape the meat into 2 patties of equal size and center each on a plate of fresh greens.
Around each meat patty arrange half of the capers, Dijon mustard, red onion and parsley. Carefully break the 2 eggs, reserving the yolk and half of each shell. Place the yolks in their eggshell cups, then sit an egg cup in the center of each patty. Serve the steak tartare with toast points, olive oil, and hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauces on the side.
3 medium oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional, adjust salt if added), rinsed and minced
2 teaspoons brined capers, drained and rinsed
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large egg yolks
10 ounces USDA prime beef tenderloin, cut into small dice, covered, and refrigerated
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon crushed chile flakes (optional)
Combine anchovies (if using), capers, and mustard in a nonreactive bowl. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash ingredients until evenly combined; mix in egg yolks.
Use a rubber spatula to fold remaining ingredients into mustard mixture until thoroughly combined. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with toast points or french fries.