Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Steak Tar Tar

On a roll and feeling invincible after my run-in with raw pancetta, I got gutsy and went for the gold. Steak tar tar, a.k.a raw hamburger. Granted, you douse it with booze and lemon juice and a whole bunch of other stuff to make it go down easy (actually it was really delicious and I can't wait to have it again) but it's still raw beef from whatever part of the animal they make burger from.

Gabriel had been talking about making this for years but never did until last week. Could the delay have been due to my weak, "um, o.k., honey" with subsequent discussions about pathogenic bacteria and the big salmonella (or was it e-coli?) outbreak that hit Chicago when I was a kid? You wouldn't believe what they described on the evening news back then. Anyway, here in Europe I've eaten all kinds of things that most Americans would fear. You know about the pancetta but there was also the roast lamb that lay unrefrigerated over night before roasting, and the yogurt that Gabriel forgot in his office for two days then left in our fridge, which I ate without knowing where it had been. But each time I tempt fate and the gods of botulism, I win.

So here it is: The Steak Tar Tar "recipe". If you have a good butcher who will grind some whole beef for you, you shouldn't have a problem.

There's about a half a pound of meat in the center surrounded by (going clockwise starting from 8:00) freshly-ground black pepper, chopped white onion, chopped chives, chopped tomato, grainy mustard, capers, lemon wedge. Top left is (clearly)salt and top right, a shot of rum.

Mix all the condiments that you like into the beef and eat almost as if it were a spread on crunchy toast. Music to eat Steak Tar Tar by: New Zeland dance band, Salmonella Dub.


Blogger ilva said...

Oh Susan I love steak tartar, I have loved it ever since I first tried my parents when I was a kid but they never let me have a whole because of caution. We have been talking about making one for ages and now I just have to start moving!

6:41 AM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

super yum! can't believe you hadn't tried it yet. anything raw or rare is so appealing to me, don't ask why.

i'm eating fresh michigan produce from the farm markets right now... i'll need to do a post on sweet cherries after i post about the huge storm that knocked out power and trees alike.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Ilva, Yes, I was surprised at how good it really is.

HelloMelissa, I agree. With beef, rare is the way to go (and raw ain't bad either). The cherries from Michigan! They must be wonderful! In Chicago if cherries came from Michigan, they were the best, like Georgia peaches.

8:28 AM  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I've never tried this before and I have to say I'm not too tempted. It's funny because I love carpaccio, rare steak and sushi, but I think it's the texture of the mince which doesn't appeal to me. I definitely will try it though as I always have to try everything. I must say yours sounds good with all the surrounding condiments.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi a.c.t., I can see your point and I haven't really made much of a pitch for this either what with all the e-coli, botulism and salmonella references.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Gabriel reminds me that the day he made the Steak Tar Tar, we were out of eggs, so this recipe went raw-egg-yolk-less (much to my already-eating-raw-hamburger-relief!). So those of you who want to do the real deal, mix in one very fresh egg yolk to your very fresh raw ground beef and experience the classic tar tar.

3:06 PM  
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