I’ve written here some about how I don’t eat grains, with the exception of the occasional bit of locally grown sweet corn or white rice – I once pointed out that grains, by their very nature, must be processed and then cooked before they can be consumed. You just can’t go out into a wheat field, pluck a stalk and start chowing down on it. And we all agree that processed foods are bad for us, correct?
I had a reader take exception to that, and tell me we don’t eat raw meat, either.
Well…yes, I do.
Mostly in the form of fish – I absolutely love sashimi – but I’ll quite happily scarf down some raw beef, too. When we got our latest side of beef, instead of getting a standing rib roast, opted for 6-week dry aged rib eye steaks, which means we had to wait an extra month before we received our steaks (all of our beef is aged two weeks between slaughter and cutting). We were told we’d get a pound or two of ground beef from the trimmings and that it would be the best ground beef we’d ever eat.
You just don’t make a statement like that and not expect me to obsess over what I’m going to do with it, but it didn’t take me long to decide we were going to eat it raw in the form of Steak Tartare.
Steak tartare is nothing more than raw, minced beef; often mixed with condiments such as grated onion, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and topped with a raw egg yolk, which acts as a sauce as the tartare is eaten. It was once considered haute cuisine, but has fallen out of favor in recent years, mostly due to the Mad Cow scare. I certainly wouldn’t eat commercial CAFO beef raw, especially ground, but since I know where our beef comes from and how it’s processed I had absolutely no problem eating this marvelous ground rib eye, along with a pastured egg yolk, au naturale.
And it was delicious.
So don’t fear the raw meat, especially if you can get grass-finished beef from a reliable source. And think of the French, who sometimes make tartare with…horse. Which makes even me go “ewwwww.”
As written, this recipe makes 4 appetizer portions; you can also make it two entrees if you like (which is what we did.) We ate it on Belgian endive, but if you eat bread, it is traditionally served with some sort of toast, mostly rye. Slices of toasted baguette would work well, too.
Note: The recipe calls for beef tenderloin simply because it’s the most tender cut of the animal, with a mild flavor. If the price is just prohibitive, however, use a good, lean, less expensive cut like top round.
- 8 ounces beef tenderloin
- 1 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (wheat and HFCS free)
- 1 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoons chopped cornichons (tiny gherkins)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 2 anchovy filets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 4 large egg yolks
- Grind or finely chop the tenderloin. Gently mix it with the remaining ingredients except for the egg yolks. Tightly wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to blend.
- Divide the beef mixture evenly between four plates and pat into round patties, making a depression in the center. Place a whole egg yolk in each depression. Garnish each plate with additional mustard, capers, onions and cornichons. Serve with endive leaves.
- Nutrition (per serving): 209 calories, 15.1g total fat, 230.4mg cholesterol, 887.2mg sodium, 256.6mg potassium, 2.5g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, <1g sugar, 15g protein.