- Prep time 25 minutes
- Serves 2
I don’t eat much beef, but I love steak tartare. For ages it felt like food I could have only in a restaurant because I thought, “there’s no way I could eat raw meat at home,” a misconception many Americans probably share. But with the right approach, steak tartare is a treat (and so easy) to make in your own kitchen. For this preparation use the freshest grass-fed filet mignon you can get your hands on—for me, that’s the Wagyu beef from my local farmer friends, Barton Brooks and Rebecca Collins Brooks over at Catskill Wagyu, in the Hudson Valley, New York. Wagyu is known for its highly marbled meat, permeated with lacy fat, rather than thick bands of fat common to Angus and other cow breeds. This beef is buttery no matter the cut, but I love filet mignon for its special tenderness. The filet comes from the the lower rib-pelvic region of the animal, which makes it very tender, but because it contains less fat than other cuts, it requires generous salting to bring out the delicate flavor. Tell your butcher you’re making tartare to ensure they give you the freshest cut. That goes for the eggs, too, since you’ll consume the yolk uncooked. A visit to your farmers market or a good greengrocer can likely provide great versions of both. Freezing the beef for about 20 minutes makes it easier to dice, and once the supporting ingredients—shallot, cornichons, parsley, chives, capers—are diced into confetti, the rest comes together in minutes. —Melina Hammer
grass-fed Wagyu filet mignon
finely chopped cornichons
finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons
salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
finely snipped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dijon mustard, for serving
Kettle-cooked potato chips, for serving
- Shear off any tendon or excess fat from the beef. Pat dry and freeze on a small tray for about 20 minutes, until slightly frozen—this makes it easier to slice with precision. (While the steak chills you’ll have time to prep the rest of the ingredients.)
- Once the beef is firm, cut it across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut these slices into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Now cut these strips crosswise into a 1/4-inch dice. Add the cornichons, parsley, capers, shallot, and chives to the beef and toss to combine. Add the salt, plus a few grinds of pepper, and toss once more. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Dollop a spoonful of Dijon mustard onto each plate. Arrange the tartare next to the mustard, creating a small well at the center for the egg yolk.
- Crack an egg. With a bowl under your hands, empty the egg into one palm and pass it back and forth between your hands, allowing the white to slip through your fingers into the bowl beneath. Gently lower the yolk into the center of the tartare. Repeat with the second egg. (Save the whites for making meringue, soufflé, or an omelette.)
- Divide the potato chips and lemon wedges between the plates. Squeeze lemon onto the tartare and eat at once, using the chips to scoop a little mustard, then some tartare, bursting the yolk along the way.