Perfect Steak Tartare at Home! Here's how to make the classic French appetizer SAFELY at home! It's really easy with a few simple tips. Stop over-paying for it in fancy restaurants! | macheesmo.com
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How to Make Perfect Steak Tartare at Home

Public service announcement: Steak tartare is delicious.

If you are a carnivore and love good, fresh flavors, this is something that is doable at home.

A lot of people I talked to while I was testing this post though were skeptical that it could be safely made at home. This was sort of baffling to me. In other words, many people are perfectly fine with someone they do not know (restaurant line cook) preparing raw meat for them to eat, but shudder at the idea of making it at home… when you can control everything.

But, let’s get this out of the way first and foremost: It can go very wrong. Don’t try this unless you’re willing to do it right. Don’t take shortcuts. As this very disgusting Buzzfeed roundup suggests, steak tartare can go very wrong at home.

But I disagree with that article that it should just be left to the professionals. At the end of the day, it’s humble fair fare that anyone should be able to make. You don’t even need a pan or a stove, after all!

So, let’s dig in and figure this out so you can have the confidence to make tartare at home.

Perfect Steak Tartare at Home! Here's how to make the classic French appetizer SAFELY at home! It's really easy with a few simple tips. Stop over-paying for it in fancy restaurants! | macheesmo.com

Simple, Perfect Steak Tartare

Just a moment please...

Yield
Serves 2.
Prep Time
Total Time

This is a really easy and classic appetizer that you can safely make at home if you follow these steps! Stop over-paying for it!

Ingredients

4 ounces fresh lean beef steak (I like Sirloin)
1 tablespoon olive oil (to taste)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + extra
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Fresh egg yolk
Toast
Minced shallot
Pickled vegetables
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Directions

1) Start with a very good lean steak. Ask your butcher for a fresh steak and tell him you intend to eat it raw.

2) Rinse steak and dry it off well. Salt liberally on all sides. Cover and let sit in the fridge for an hour or two. Don’t let it sit for longer than a few hours or it will start to cure. Rinse the steak off and dry it again.

3) Trim off any large tendons or pieces of fat. If you start with a lean steak, you shouldn’t need to trim off much. Then portion out about 4 ounces. You can eyeball it.

4) Mince the steak finely (or to a texture you like). Take your time here.

5) Add the steak to a bowl and stir vigorously with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Taste a bit of it and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I like a little more vinegar and salt in mine.

6) Keep the mixture chilled until you’re ready to eat. Prepare your plate with toast, egg yolk (lightly poached if you want), pickled veg, capers, and minced shallot.

7) Press the tartare into a mold on the plate so it holds its shape and make a small well in the center. Slide in the egg yolk.

Enjoy immediately!

Helpful direction from Chef Ruhlman.

Perfect Steak Tartare

Quick Warning: If you’re pregnant or if you have a weakened immune system for some reason, you probably want to avoid eating raw meat. At a minimum, check with your doctor before diving in!

The Steak Part

Obviously people are concerned about safety when eating raw meat, but the first and easiest way to make sure your meat is safe to eat raw is to buy a fresh, whole piece of meat. Lean meat is best so you have less trimming to do later.

Tartare Meat Guide Point 1: Do not, under any circumstances, use ground beef unless you grind it yourself from a whole piece of meat!

Ground beef always needs to be cooked because it contains beef and trimmings from many different cows. In other words, it’s more dangerous. Also, it’s gross and has the wrong texture for tartare.

Tartare Meat Guide Point 2: Talk to your butcher! Tell them you are planning to eat the steak as a tartare and you want the freshest cut they have.

For my money, a nice grass fed sirloin steak is about as good as it gets for tartare. It’s a lean cut so you won’t have much to trim off and it’s really flavorful.

Remember that about 4 ounces is a really good portion of tartare so a steak this size will make 2-3 portions easily.

Steak tartare meat.

Good meat.

Salting the Steak

It’s important to buy whole pieces of meat because you don’t have to worry about bacteria on the inside of the steak. While you could trim off all the outer pieces and be totally safe, that’s a lot of work and you would lose a lot of beef in the process.

Here’s how to deal with any bacteria that might be on the exterior:

  1. Wash your hands and rinse the steak under cold water. Dry it off well.
  2. Salt the steak liberally on all sides. You want a nice even layer of salt. You could do more than I did below. I’m not sure that you can overdo it actually as long as you don’t leave it on too long. Salt is a natural bacteria killer.
Steak tartare

A salt layer.

3. Cover the steak and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour, but not longer than a few hours. You don’t want the steak to cure!

4. Rinse the steak a second time and dry it off well.

Your steak is now good to go and ready for tartare!

Making the Tartar

The first step here is to trim off any large tendons or pieces of fat. Assuming you buy a good lean cut of meat, there shouldn’t be much to trim.

Perfect Steak Tartare

Dried and trimmed.

Then you have a few options. You could grind this, but personally I like to dice it by hand with a sharp knife. You can get a very exact texture this way. I usually cube the beef as finely as I can and then run my knife through it a bunch of times to mince it up.

This was my finished minced tartare.

Perfect Steak Tartare

Take your time!

Seasoning the Tartare

Even the best beef will taste a bit bland at this point. It needs a lot of seasoning including some fat and salt and pepper.

Some recipes call for folding in capers and shallots and stuff, but I like to serve that stuff separately. What I do like to do is simply dress the tartare with a basic vinaigrette. I just use good olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. I start with about a tablespoon of oil and vinegar and big pinches of salt and pepper.

Most importantly, after you stir these in, taste it! Adjust the seasoning to your liking. It should be delicious at this point.

Perfect Steak Tartare

Season well.

The Egg

Tartare is very lean and it needs a big dose of fat to smooth it out. Enter the egg yolk. I don’t trust a tartare unless it comes with a nice egg yolk.

To be honest, you can just separate an egg yolk and plop it on top, but I like to take a small extra step and very quickly poach just the yolk. This makes a little balloon that’s easier to handle.

I separate the yolk and then dunk it in steaming water (gently) for 15 seconds. Done.

Egg yolk

Optional step, but egg not optional!

Plating the Steak Tartare

You can just pile the tartare up honestly (or serve it in a small bowl), but if you want to get fancy, use a cookie cutter as a mold!

Perfect Steak Tartare

Pack it in.

Then pile the plate with minced shallot, capers, pickled veggies, and toasts.

Add the egg as  the final touch, plus maybe an extra drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt.

This is a classy dish, no doubt, but one that is completely doable at home. Buy good, fresh meat, treat it well, and enjoy.

Have questions or suggestions? Ask away in the comments!

Perfect Steak Tartare at Home! Here's how to make the classic French appetizer SAFELY at home! It's really easy with a few simple tips. Stop over-paying for it in fancy restaurants! | macheesmo.com

Perfect Steak Tartare at Home! Here's how to make the classic French appetizer SAFELY at home! It's really easy with a few simple tips. Stop over-paying for it in fancy restaurants! | macheesmo.com

48 comments on “How to Make Perfect Steak Tartare at Home

  1. Normally I love steak tartare but my pregnant self shouldn’t have opened this link first thing in the morning!

    1. Great reminder September! If you’re pregnant (or have a weakened immune system) you probably want to avoid or ask your doc. I’m gonna update the post to say that also. Thanks!

      1. Another option is a very low and slow sous vide preparation to pasteurize but not cook the beef and yolk.

  2. I grew up in Denmark and steak tartare is still one of my favorites though I haven’t dared eat it here in the US. However, you might just have taken my fear away, Nick. One thing we do add to ours is shredded horseradish and it is usually served on dark rye bread (you know the German kind).

      1. Beef fromthe USA has been banned in Europe due to fear of Mad Cow, as well as the fact that we treat our cows with hormones to make them grow bigger. It seems there’s a general distrust of U.S. beef overseas.

        1. EU beef is banned from the United States for mad cow as well. I doubt it has much to do with trust.

          1. Hi Christopher. Watch Food Inc. on Netflix or The World According to Monsanto on YouTube.

        2. You seem surprised that US beef is banned in the EU. Are you really surprised? Why on earth would you want to stuff your cattle with hormones? Let them eat grass and grow naturally. They don’t need to be body builders!! Your beef is the equivalent of Monsanto genetically engineered seed. That is also banned in the EU and long may that last.
          By all means feed your cattle GM food but don’t expect us Europeans to eat either your beef or your GM crops.
          We neither need nor want them.

          1. There are plenty of options for beef in the United States. We can buy cheap beef to free range grass fed bison to Kobe beef. Not having EU beef isn’t really an issue. The US is forth per capita in world beef consumption. We’re doing just fine without your buisness.

          2. Dumpster alert. ( Christopher that is)I live in the divided states and refuse to eat red meat unless it is organic, grass fed, and humanely raised. Sadly, it’s quite expensive. But we get by. If it wasn’t so expensive to move to Europe, I’d be there long ago.

        3. I’m not sure if it has changed now, I certainly hope it has, but one of the reasons it was banned in the UK was that brain stem and brains was added into the cattle feed. That was outlawed here after the scare. There was a lot of anger from the States as they thought it affected them unfairly and we should just be fine with it.

          I don’t know if these practices still go on in America, but I’d certainly hope not.

  3. I would probably only eat it if I made it, just like I will only eat a medium rare burger if I ground the meat myself in sterile conditions. (The conditions being sterile….not myself :) ) We had it made with beef tenderloin and it was almost too tender so I like your choice of cut.

    1. Thanks Chris! Yea… I thought about using tenderloin actually but Chef Ruhlman recommended a sirloin cut and it worked really well (and is a bit cheaper).

  4. I made this exactly as written save for the beef type… tenderloin was practically being given away so I went with that. I plan on trying with sirloin in the next few weeks. Absolutely perfect… thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Cold or chilled. Serving it warm would actually be dangerous as you would have to let it sit out to come to room temp.

  5. I like to add a little a bit of Cognac and flambe it just for a few seconds before eating adds some flavor and makes your guests go wow.

      1. Thankyou for your reply I will really read this but I’m not sure if I will like it if I need advice can I get back to

  6. Looking forward to making this week as it is an all time favorite. We do eat it quite a bit during our annual holiday in the south of France. Have eaten here in NYC many times at various French Restaraunts. Would love to be able to pull this off at home. Thanks for the clear and very detailed recipe and explanation. Will let you know how I make out.

    1. Sorry, disregard – I was speed-reading and missed that point. “do not!” (it appears that I have egg on my face…)

      1. Ha. No worries! But yea… I wouldn’t risk it unless you are very sure of the source (like know the butcher and where they got the cuts from). Most ground beef… even grass fed organic, is a mix of a bunch of different cuts from many different cows so tough to say!

  7. we had this al the time when I was a child (standard sunday night supper), my mother also made a delicious pasta with tiny raw beef meat balls made from scraped beef that were warmed by the hot buttered pasta-so good!

  8. In some european countries you will be asked if you want the toast dry or pan fried in oil. I prefer dry. However it is always served with garlic cloves to rub the toast with.

  9. Just made some and ate a whole bunch before reading the sanitation steps ooops tastes great though I used salt pepper pimento nigella seeds and some smoked paprika and home made sour kraut

  10. Does it matter what egg you use for steak tartar? I’m not put off with eating raw beef, I actually love it. But I’m a bit vary on eating raw eggs, and I’m not even sure why. Would any eggs be fine?

  11. Here in Europe the law is to freeze the meat – 18 C for a few hours to make it safe – same as fish for Sushi – defrost it in the fridge and cut it just before asembling to eat. I am lucky to obtain eggs layed the same day, corn fed and truly free range from a neighbor. How lucky can one get? Today for lunch its steak rartar – oh, I always put a few drops of the oil of canned anchovies, it give a slightly tangy, great flavor!

  12. Is it inappropriate to leave a little white on the yolk and poach in boiling water to make a little white balloon instead of a yellow one?

  13. Perfect recipe! I am so tired of over-seasoned and over-ketchup-ed tartares here in Switzerland. Made this today including your 15 sec yolk – for myseld as my 7 yo wasnt hungry – she ate it all but I managed to snatch a taster :)

  14. Honest fair …….
    Oh please!!!
    Of course you really meant “Honest FAYRE ……” didn’t you?
    At least I hope that you did!!

      1. No problem.
        Usually FARE refers to the money that you pay for a bus ride or train ride.
        The word FAYRE, although olde English, is usually used to describe food.
        Easy to differentiate then wouldn’t you agree?

        But then our US cousins don’t seem to be able to spell quite a few words correctly eg THEATRE, COLOUR etc etc so maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree LOL.

  15. I ate raw beef bibimbop in Korea. It was on a side street in a small town. I had eaten most of it before I asked what it was. I was fine and it was amazing. I think people get much to worried about these things.

  16. Oh this is fabulous and se easy to do once you take the plunge. We came looking for this recipe as recently in Poland we saw that beer tartare was a snack to each with your beer! We weren’t brave enough to try it in a dive bar there, but we loved this! thanks for the recipe!

  17. I have mostly used deer ,elk ,moose , antelope that I shot and butchered myself. Have always used the ground meat

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