How To Make Steak Tartare

Jun 6, 2012 3:01 pm

A recipe for steak tartare straight from Colicchio

steak tartare recipe
Photo: Gabi Porter
With careful knifework and prime beef, steak tartare is right around the corner.

We hit Colicchio & Sons last week to explore how meat masters take their steak tartare. Turns out they like it just like everyone else — prime, raw and bursting with flavorful shards of shallot and cornichon and tons of fresh herbs. Chef de Cuisine Luke Bergman puts a flavorful spin on his steak tartare with an elaborate emulsion of smoked soft-boiled eggs and sherry vinegar...but you can just use mayonnaise. But make sure it's homemade — it makes all the difference. His most important piece of advice? "Go to the butcher and ask for prime."  

This recipe for steak tartare involves careful prep work, then assembly is a cinch. If there was ever a reason to sharpen your best knife, this is it. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of prime sirloin, aged if possible, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, plus more if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped curly-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chervil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground aleppo pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Potato chips, to serve (Coliccio & Sons uses barbecue chips)
mise en place
Set up your mise en place

Prepare all your ingredients in small bowls and have them at the ready. You don't want the tartare to sit for too long before serving. 

oil beef
Coat the beef with grapeseed oil

Add the grapeseed oil and mix well. "It protects the meat from all the salty things like the capers and cornichons so it doesn’t turn brownish afterwards," says Bergman, "you want to coat it so it’s all shiny. I’m working in a stainless steel bowl over another bowl filled with ice so it stays a safe temperature."


add herbs
Add the shallots and herbs

Add the chopped shallot and fresh herbs (except the chervil) and toss gently to coat. Chef's tip: "You’re looking for the point where every piece of meat has a good amount of chives in there for good spiciness." 

Add capers and cornichons
Add capers, cornichons and chervil

Add the chopped capers and cornichons. "If you’ve noticed I haven’t added any salt, it draws out the moisture. It will start to oxidize, so we’re going to add that in the end," says Bergman. Once incorporated, gently fold in the chervil — you don't want to bruise it. If it looks a little dry at this point, add more grapeseed oil. 

Add mayo
Add mayonnaise

Fold in the mayonnaise and mix gently until the tartare begins to come together almost like a dough.

Add salt
Add salt

Add Kosher salt and aleppo pepper and continue to mix gently, tasting frequently. Be careful not to oversalt, you've already got capers and cornichons in there. 

Make quenelles
Make quenelles

If you know how, use two spoons to make quenelles; otherwise simply pack the tartare into a small ring mold on the plate and serve with your favorite potato chips (or make your own).  

"The real way to tell if it’s a good tartare, try it with a potato chip first," says Bergman.

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