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Steak Tartare

Is it a 'no-no' like rare burgers or is it still on the menu someplace?

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  1. God, I LOVE this stuff. On very hearty dark rye, paired with a REAL MADE FROM SCRATCH table-side Caesar, one of my favorite meals, along with a glass of red.

    I THINK it's only still served in very traditional private clubs or older traditional steak houses. And I am told there is an element of risk in serving AND eating it.

    But, there's an element of risk in many great things, isn't there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Whosyerkitty

      Oh yeahhhh!!! Love it raw!
      Please don't get me started on what we're 'told' about what's best for us.

    2. Have seen (and had it) in several places and really enjoy it. We are going to a restaurant next week for that reason. The first time I had that and beef carpaccio I was slightly nervous but after the first bite didn't care any longer! I also enjoy bison tartare.

      7 Replies
      1. re: chefathome

        It's all good. IMHO, there's no difference between raw fish (sashimi/sushi) or raw meat. I've never gotten sick even when, as a kid, my mother would fix hamburgers and I'd take a gob of the mixture to make sure it was seasoned properly.

        1. re: mucho gordo

          You're right. If it's fresh I have no worries. Your post reminds me of my mom regularly eating raw bacon - we grew up on a farm where we'd butcher chickens chicken then touched veg then put our hands in our mouths then touched raw fish...we are all fine! :-D

          1. re: chefathome

            I have no hesitation ordering it from restaurants. I also have no hesitation making it myself.
            Bourdain's recipe for this is the bomb.

          2. re: mucho gordo

            There's a real difference between raw fish and raw meat. All sushi-grade fish must be frozen to kill parasites. The risks with raw meat are decidedly different (not that I wouldn't be willing to assume that risk).

            1. re: ferret

              I was under the impression that the best sushi was from fish kept on ice but served a.s.a.p after being caught. Never thought about it before but now that you mention it, being 'on ice' is equivalent to being frozen.

              1. re: mucho gordo

                Ideally sushi should be as fresh as possible. One way to do that is to freeze it as soon as possible after it is caught. The USDA also requires the freezing to kill parasites in fish that are prone to getting them. Tuna does not necessarily need to be frozen (less susceptible to parasites than the fattier salmon, for example) but the stuff you get in sushi restaurants is likely frozen.

                1. re: ferret

                  Salmon, I think, is the most prone to parasites of the fish usually served for sushi, because it spawns in rivers. In general deep sea, cold water fish is less likely to get parasites.

        2. I don't know where you live but it's very common in Boston restaurants.

          It's also easy to make. I don't use supermarket hamburger but go to a butcher who "rough" grinds to order or chop myself. I'm not at all squeamish but different bacteria can grow on the surface of meat that hasn't been ground recently.

          My recipe is beef, raw egg yolk, tabasco, Worcestershire, minced anchovy, capers minced onions and mustard..mix and enjoy. As someone else said, a Caesar salad goes great..the anchovy, egg tabasco and W sauce really pick up each other's flavor...and a nice red wine of your choice goes perfectly



          eta...done with fresh venison too.; which I hand minced...not lamb; yet. but I will.

          1. I have yet to try lamb tartare. Has anyone tried it? I love lamb so can only assume this would be delicious, too.

            5 Replies
            1. re: chefathome

              Yes - in Lebanese restaurants, and it is wonderful.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Tuna and lamb loins share such resemblance in color and texture, I think a bar bell surf and turf tartare with both could be amusing.

              2. It's not for me, but my favorite aunt told me that her beef tartare got her a proposal of marriage from a Cathoic priest.

                2 Replies
                1. re: EWSflash

                  I go by Alan's recipe, which has none of the frightful condiments you mentioned.
                  "51" still does a nice tableside preparation so one can add / delete / tweak along the way.

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    BBBWWWAAAAHHHHHAAAAAAAAA!!!!! OMG. That's TOO funny. Presumably, it wasn't on a Friday.

                  2. Thinly sliced with a drizzle of light olive oil, oh my gosh

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hueyishere

                      are you confusing tartare with carpaccio...also great?

                    2. it's on a lot of menus here in LA. raw or rare *ground* beef is more of a health concern because of the potentially dangerous bacteria that may be introduced during processing & handling...but if you start with a clean, high-quality cut of steak from a trusted source and chop it when you're making the tartare, you're far less likely to make someone sick than if you served them an undercooked burger made from pre-ground beef.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Very true GHG.

                          At home I'll on occasion go as far as to spritz the outside of meat with white vinegar for 10 min to kill off surface bacteria and then rinse it off if doing a raw meat dish or if I am grinding for burgers that will be eaten on the med/rare side. It will do little to the texture in that short period of time and will leave no taste when rinsed off.

                          The surface is where most any bacteria will be on a cut of beef.

                          Can't remember the last time I've purchased pre ground meat.

                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            hmm, the vinegar step is interesting - i'm surprised the acid doesn't affect the texture, even in that short time. i'll keep this one in mind. thanks!

                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              A quick dip in boiling water works, too, and doesn't cook the meat appreciably.

                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                Yup, that's the other way to disinfect the surface. FIne when grinding meat as the little change in surface color will not be noticed at all when ground.