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Sunday, April 25, 2010

steak tartare

Steak tartare at Macleay Street Bistro in Sydney’s Potts Point is just about as good as it gets – and whenever we go there, Al never fails to order it as a first course. He is also very good at making it himself and like anyone who makes steak tartare he has his own special style.

We like the meat undressed with the onions, cornichons, anchovies, capers and parsley on the side, not pre-mixed with the meat and the mustards, sauces and oil in separate bowls on the table for individual use. Served this way it is up to the individual to create their own ‘tartare’ according to their personal likes, dislikes and heat preferences.

Rump steak has a stronger flavour and better suited, we think, to this dish than eye fillet. The meat needs to be finely chopped by hand and not blitzed in a food processor. Some recipes say to scrape the meat through a drum sieve as in the making of rillettes but the resulting texture of the meat is not to our liking. Chopping it by hand gives a superior result.

Raw meat is a little overwhelming and does not appeal to everyone despite the fact the whole dish will change dramatically once the accompanying ingredients are mixed through. Serving it as a starter is a more subtle way to approach this classic dish and to appreciate and understand its status on the world’s culinary stage.

Ingredients for 4:

100g rump steak per person for a starter or 200gm per person for a main course
4 egg yolks served in their half shell or alone
Toast to serve

very finely chop:

1 Spanish onion
12 cornichons
12 anchovies
4 tablespoons salted capers, washed and drained
4 tablespoons parsley


Finely chop the steak and form a small mound on each plate making a slight well in the centre. Place one egg yolk on top of the meat. Arrange the rest of the ingredients in alternating rows fanning out from the steak and serve the following condiments on the side along with unbuttered, quartered toast.

Worcestershire Sauce
English mustard
Green mustard

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