Steak Tartare

An amazing gift ……

My parents gave me such a lovely gift: A bottle of wonderful wine, a jar of perfectly paired spice and a recipe.

The wine: Saint Julien. One of the most famous Bordeaux wines from the Médoc.

The spice: Pimentón de la Vera . An amazing smoky paprika used in traditional Spanish cooking. It is the spice that gives the chorizo sausage its unmistakable flavour.

The recipe: steak tartare. A dish of chopped meat that became popular at the beginning of the 20th century.

This weekend I assembled my gift. The combination of the Pimentón flavoured tartare and the rich wine was just incredible: powerful, harmonious, complementary.

Out of curiosity I also made a serving of a more traditionally seasoned steak tartare. On its own right I slightly preferred the classic version. I also really enjoyed having two tartares with different textures and flavours. But in the end the combination of the pimento tartare with the wine was unsurpassable.

Such a wonderful present! Just a little tip though: Apparently Saint Julien is not the easiest wine to find for a palatable price. So it might be worth looking for a more affordable alternative with similar flavours – elegant berries, warm plum, velvety spice.

Or fabulously spoil yourself or a very lucky person the way I was…..

A big thank you to my parents!

Serves 2

300g tenderloin (NL: ossenhaas, DE: Rinderfilet, -lende) (see tips for alternative cuts)
1/2 red onion
4 cornichons
salt, pepper

1 tsp Pimentón de la Vera
2 tsp capers
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes Tabasco
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp mayonnaise

To serve
2-4 (quail) eggs
sliced baguette
other pickled vegetables you can get your hands on (silver onions, caper berries, cauliflower)
the jar of Pimentón de la Vera

1. Chop the meat as fine as you like. (I like a very fine texture but it really is up to you).
2. Chop the onion and cornichons fine. Combine with the meat, salt and pepper.
3. Separate the meat into two equal portions.
4. Mix the one half with the pimento.
5. Chop the capers finely and combine with the second half of the meat as well as all the classic seasoning.
6. Taste the tartare and adjust to your liking!
7. The tartare can be served on one big plate, as individual servings or as canapés (For more info on how to serve see below).
8. Make indents into the tartare and allow the raw eggs to slide in.
9. Serve with all the side nibbles.

Tips & Variations

  • Buy your meat from a butcher and tell him/her what dish you are making to get the freshest meat. Do not buy a pre-wrapped piece of meat from the supermarket.
  • You can experiment with the cut of meat:

o Mild flavour: sirloin or tenderloin
o A little more bite: flank steak
o Beefy flavour: chuck or brisket

  • You can also add:

o 1 lightly whisked egg
o chopped parsley
o chopped spring onion
o 1 tsp ketchup

  • You can crisp the bread

o preheat oven to 150C (300F)
o brush bread slices lightly with olive oil
o sprinkle with salt
o bake for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden

To serve

  • rustic sharing: place the tartare in the middle of a large dish and surround with bread and other sides
  • 2 individual servings: using a serving ring place half of the meat on a small dish. Press down a little. Add half of the side servings. Repeat for the second serving.
  • amuse or party canapé: Place small amount of tartare on slices of bread or one  amuse –  or Asian soupspoons. You can use a table spoon to form the tartare into quenelles.

Tartare – Left: with Pimentón – Right: Classic


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