Traditionally, a classic steak tartare is made with high-quality hand-chopped horsemeat, or beef fillet and it’s usually served with a raw egg yolk on top and an array of add-ons on the side; shallots, capers, chives, parsley and chopped salted anchovies are common accoutrements. My version of steak tartare puts a little twist on the French (or is it actually German, or Russian?) classic and its most popular toppings. Naturally, I’ve kept the hand-chopped beef fillet, but I serve it with some crispy fried capers, some creamy anchovy aioli (or is it a type of anchoiade, now that its ‘French’? Hmm…) and a jammy confit egg yolk on top of a brioche bun. I know: c’est scandaleux! I mean, does good beef really need double the creaminess of (confit) egg yolk and briny maritime umami to make it taste good? Well… non, bien sûr que non (means no), but it does make for a tasty ‘scandal’ indeed!
Preparing steak tartare at home really is quite easy, I mean, there’s hardly any cooking at all, is there? But some might believe eating raw eggs and raw meat is risky business. While my anchovy aioli does contain some raw egg (though, not visibly so, so it’s less scary, right?), I did get rid of that raw egg yolk that usually goes on top of the tartare for you. I have to admit that raw, cold, yolk is not necessarily myfavorite either, but some lukewarm jammy confit yolk, on the other hand, definitely makes my heart beat faster. Sure, confit yolks require a bit more work than the traditional raw yolk, but those orange-y little gems really are something else… plus, they look pretty cool and not scary at all. Of course, you already knew that since you made them straight away after I wrote about them in this post here, right? And the same goes for my anchovy aioli, amirite?
Now, as for the meat: there really isn’t that much of a risk involved provided that you get some high-quality beef, preferably cut from a piece of fillet (filet mignon, or chateaubriand, etc.) and inform your butcher you will be serving it raw so as to ensure you will get a perfectly good cut that’s safe to eat (given that you trust your butcher). If you get good quality beef and consume it on the day of purchase, or within a day, it should be perfectly safe to eat raw. Still a bit anxious about food poisoning, or parasites? You could freeze the beef for 24 hours before using it in this dish to kill potential food-born hazards, but this could slightly affect the taste and texture of the meat… suppose it’s a bit of risky business after all.
Tip #1: Having trouble finely dicing and chopping the meat? Pop the piece of beef into the freezer for 20 minutes to let it firm up slightly.
Tip #2: I like to serve steak tartare on a soft, lightly toasted brioche bun, but you can also opt for the more traditional slice of rye, or some crostini.
Steak Tartare with Anchovy Aioli, Confit Egg yolk and Crispy Fried Capers (on Brioche)
- For the confit egg yolks:
- 2 egg yolks
- Enough oil of any kind to submerge the egg yolks in a small pan
- For the Anchovy Aioli:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets+ 1 teaspoon of the oil they came in
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 125ml mild flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
- For the steak tartare:
- 250g beef fillet
- 20g cornichons
- 20g shallot
- 1 tablespoon (20g) brined capers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 2 brioche buns, or slices of rye bread to serve (optional)
- Make the confit egg yolks: Preheat your oven to 65°C. Add the oil to a small oven-proof dish, or saucepan and place inside the pre-heated oven. When the oil has warmed up and is at a stable temperature, gently lower the egg yolks into the warm oil with a spoon. Cook the egg yolks in the warm oil in the oven for 30 minutes. When the yolks are cooked, remove from oil onto a plate. Find link to a more detailed recipe for confit egg yolks here.
- Make the anchovy aioli: mash the garlic clove and anchovy fillets into a paste in a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolk, lemon juice and mustard. Whilst whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the teaspoon of reserved oil from the anchovies into the bowl with the egg mixture, then slowly pour the other oil into the egg-mixture (alternatively, use a stick blender to process the mixture whilst pouring in the oil). Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Finally, stir in the anchovy and garlic paste. Find a more detailed recipe for Anchovy aioli here.
- Prepare the beef: With a very sharp knife, very finely slice the beef into thin slices, then into thin strips. Very finely dice the thin strips of beef and chop the beef-cubes as finely as you can without actually grinding the meat into a fine paste. Cover with some plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients: Very finely chop the shallot and cornichons. Scoop the brined capers onto some kitchen paper and squeeze to remove the moisture. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan. When the oil is hot fry the capers for about 3 minutes until crispy. Remove from the pan and place onto a paper towel to remove some of the oil.
- Plating the tartare: take the chopped meat from the refrigerator and mix in the finely chopped shallot and finely chopped cornichons. Season the meat with some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Cut the brioche buns in half (if using) and divide the meat over the two bottom halves of the buns in a hamburger patty-like shape. Add a dollop of the anchovy aioli. With a spoon create a small dent in the top of the tartare and place a confit yolk on top of the meat. Finally, sprinkle the crispy fried capers over the meat and sauce. Serve immediately.