Steak tartare has to be my all-time favorite meal, and my very favorite rendition is one we make at home. Lie. My true favorite, which has more to do with sentiment than flavor, is the super mustardy steak tartare at Brasserie Lipp in Paris, which is the first thing I order along with a glass or two (or a bottle, who are we kidding) of house red upon landing to deal with jetlag. CUT in Beverly Hills makes a mean third-place contender, and uses decadent and fatty kobe beef. Here at home we follow an Anthony Bourdain recipe, which has a gazillion ingredients with everything from cognac to ketchup that add to up to a complexity of flavor that is RIGHT. OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. But the pièce de resistence are the French fries we serve with—hot off the press from Burger King. Yes, I said it. So one night last week I ground up some sirloin, and our friend Alec brought over four frypods from Burger King, along with a pretty ritzy bottle of 2006 Stags’ Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Genius—and generous, very.
Anthony Bourdain’s Steak Tartare
From Les Halles Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain
Serves 4-6 as main course
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (28 g)
4 anchovy filets, finely chopped (Foodinista’s note: I sometimes substitute a healthy squeeze of anchovy paste if I don’t have filets on hand.)
2 tsp ketchup (10 g)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (5 g)
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup salad (i.e., corn or soy) oil (56 ml)
1 oz Cognac (28 ml)
1 small onion, freshly and finely chopped
2 oz capers, rinsed (56 g)
2 oz cornichons, finely chopped (56 g)
4 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped
1 1/4 lb. fresh sirloin, finely chopped (560 g)
French fries, optional
4 slices fine quality white bread, toasted, quartered, for toast points
Place the egg yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and add the mustard and anchovies. Mix well, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and pepper and mix well again. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the Cognac and mix again.
Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley.
Foodinista’s note: Bourdain calls for a fine hand-chop of the meat, but on a weeknight I just can’t muster the energy so instead I send it through a meat grinder attached to my KitchenAid mixer. What’s the deal with the saran wrap, you ask? Um, sometimes it can get kind of messy (think Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Enough said.
Then I feed the ground beef through the grinder, which is also pretty gross…
And now back to Bourdain… Add the chopped meat to the bowl and mix well using a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat evenly among the six chilled dinner plates and, using a ring mold or spatula, form it into disks on the plates. Serve immediately with French fries and toasted bread points. (Note, Mr. Foodinista likes to grill the bread instead of toasting.)