Steak Tartare Recipe

by katerina on June 5, 2012

Steak “tartare” is a true classic – by that of course I mean it has endless variations. In a standard steak tartare raw beef tenderloin is ground right before serving and mixed with some or all of the following: capers, mustard, oil, shallots, egg yolk, ketchup, cornichons, lemon juice, tabasco and Worcestershire. Though I had made it myself before travelling through France it wasn’t until I had sampled many different versions that I was able to hone in on what made a perfect steak tartare for me.

Steak Tartare Recipe

For me, there are two critical things in my favorite renditions, first the meat isn’t ground but rather cut with a knife to a larger size. Secondly, I don’t add anything sweet, that means no sweet pickles and definitely no ketchup. From a presentation stand point I also enjoy a formal presentation which showcases the glossy yolk-topped meat and allows people to adjust it to their own tastes.

Raw Beef Recipe

It is of extreme importance when making steak tartare at home you use very fresh eggs and very fresh meat. Tell your butcher that you intend to serve it raw, and don’t just buy something that has been vacum packed at the supermarket. This is a very big portion for two people, so you could easily feed 3 or 4 people with this amount of meat, especially if you are serving it as an appetizer. That said, a full egg yolk will be too much – so find yourself some quail eggs and use those instead. Lastly, raw foods do pose a risk so use your own judgement of your health on whether this is for you or not.

Print Recipe

Steak Tartare Recipe

(serves 2-4)

3 tablespoons frehly minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced capers
2 egg yolks (or 4 quail egg yolks, if making appetizer sized)
1lb very fresh beef tenderloin or sirloin
2 tablespoons qulaity extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a dozen slices of finely sliced Parmaggiano Reggiano cheese
to serve alongside:
French Dijon mustard
sliced baguette

First do all the prep, that includes mincing the shallots and capers, getting all your accompaniments on the table (mustard, tabasco etc) and slicing your baguette. This recipe should be done "ala minute", meaning right before you serve it, until then leave your meat and eggs in the fridge.

Five minutes before you are ready to eat, Remove the meat to a clean cutting board. Trim any suspect edges and discard. With a very sharp knife cut the meat into approximetly 3/4 cm cubes. Place in a clean bowl and toss with the olive oil and small amount of salt and pepper. Taste it to make sure it is lightly and appropriately seasoned.

For two people, divide in half and arrange each in a round small mound on a plate, forming a light intentation in the center for the egg yolk. Divide the shallots and capers in half as well and top each portion of meat with the shallots and capers. Using very fresh eggs, seperate the egg yolks from the whites, and set aside the white to use for another purpose, place one yolk on the top of each portion of meat and top with freshly ground pepper. If using cheese, surround the meat with cheese. Serve each portion with a good amount of baguette.

For four people, follow the same instructions above, except divide the meat in four, the shallots & capers in four, and plate with quails yolks instead of whole yolks.

Calories(approximate per serving): 350

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Raymond June 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

Awesome I love tartare and this takes the cake!


Katie June 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

I’m a fan – looks delicious!


katerina June 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

Awesome, thanks Katie!


Donna June 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Absolutely approve of your Tartare rendition…Question…Could there be a possible substitute for the baguette slices for the gluten intolerant? Sarrasin (buckwheat) galette/crêpe? Ou?…Even if I have to put lettuce around it…this simply MUST be made! Thank you for sharing!


jeri June 7, 2012 at 12:05 am

I can’t descibe how much I love steak tartare, but hardly anyone puts it on the menu anymore. I was so excited to see it on a happy hour street board as a special at a (supposedly) excellent NYC restaurant that I couldn’t change my plans fast enough. The wine turned to be box quality and the beef was just dreadful. It was loaded with picked onions and served with burnt toast. So if you are ever in Manhattan on Broadway in the 50s and see steak tartare on the happyhour meu at a (supposedly) excellent restaurant , RUN. I won’t name the resturant for fear of being sued, but there is only that fits the description. So if you ever see steak tartare don;t get it. May I recomment PJ Clark’s (affordable) or 21 (expensive but worth it).


katerina June 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

Glad it isn’t just me that loves steak tartare, I know a lot of readers didn’t like this post :)

@Donna – boy that’s heard, I rely on bread for a lot of things… cornbread? rice cakes? Not sure.

@jeri – thanks for the tip! Steak tartare can be very disappointing (even in france)


chris September 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm

This sounds great!

Strangely (meaning, after decades traveling throughout Europe and 2+ yrs in Paris) the best tartare in recent memory was at Locke-Ober in Boston.

Not sure it’s on the usual menu, as this was a private function for a friend that had just passed his bar exam. No crazy riffs… just a classic rendition with quail eggs. But it was spectacular.


Tiara December 6, 2012 at 4:49 am

Hey i was wondering if useing onions or shallets can you cook them before hand? please email me thanks! :) also do you think you could upload a few other resipes that you seen in france of tartare


katerina December 6, 2012 at 5:30 am

I don’t recommend cooking them ahead of time as it is the sharpness you are looking for. That said, if you find that is TOO sharp for your liking, try soaking the onion\shallot in ice water for a little while and that will cool it down.


Koos van Geest January 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

Katarina, the secret of an excellent steak tartare is that the meat is not ground. Use a very sharp kitchen knife to chop the meat until it looks like ground beef. A ‘classic’ steak tartare never has cubes as shown in your picture. Koos


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