Steak Tartare

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One of the first things he ever told his best friend about me: “She likes steak tartare!”  Uttered in the same breath as one would boast about how pretty their girlfriend is or how smart she is, my boyfriend was bragging about how his American girlfriend was down to eat some raw beef.  How romantic…

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In my eyes, it’s more French than the famed escargot but equally inedible to some people.  I’m convinced I was French in my past life.  Personally, I like escargot, it’s all in the sauce unlike steak tartare where it requires a little more finesse.  And much like sushi, a hand-cut steak tartare requires precision in its preparation.  Several times we’ve encountered ground sirloin as opposed to hand-cut and the results pale in comparison.

In Paris, at the heart of Place de Vosges in the Marais, Les Bonnes Soeurs had the honor of being my first encounter with a hand-cut tartare and it was unbelievable!  The texture of the beef was so much more refined and the sauce, what ever was in it, was simply delicious.  Since Les Bonnes Soeurs, we’ve been exclusive to this preparation.  I still remember the first time we walked into our favorite butcher in midtown and told him we wanted to hand-cut our steak tartare.  He gave us a look of bewilderment and awe like one would give a unicorn.  We walked out of that butcher shop with the utmost respect from the guru of meats.

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But it wasn’t until a few months ago when we were at Pla in Barcelona celebrating my birthday when we had the most phenomenal steak tartare experience.  We both regretted only ordering one for an appetizer because having to share meant nirvana would only last half the time.  It’s a good thing love conquers all!  At the end of our meal we cornered our server who, luckily for us was French, and we were able to squeeze out some of the key ingredients to their recipe. This was the best souvenir from Barcelona!

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean sirloin, hand-cut and minced
2 Tbsp white truffle oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 large shallot, finely minced
2 Tbsp capers, finely minced
2 Tbsp celery, finely minced
2 tsp soy sauce
salt & pepper
  1. To prepare your sirloin, trim all the ligaments and fat from the meat. Carefully slice and dice the sirloin until it resembles ground beef. Be patient, it’s worth it! Meanwhile, marinate the shallots and capers in a large bowl along with the truffle oil, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.
  2. Combine your hand-cut sirloin with the truffle oil mixture and gently mix with your hands. Serve immediately with a side of frisée aux lardons or frites.

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