Think you absolutely need to dish out the big bucks and buy the freshest, most beautiful piece of beef tenderloin you can get your hands on if you’re gonna whip up a beef tartare?
Not at all!
What if I told you you could make a crazy delicious, super juicy AND wonderfully tasty beef tartare using a nice piece of top round beef?
I can almost feel your skepticism. Don’t worry, I totally understand. I was exactly the same when I first heard about it. But that was before I decided to take the plunge and try it for myself. Let me tell you, all traces of skepticism have now totally left this body!
I think that I even prefer top round to tenderloin for that purpose, honestly — if only for the fact that it doesn’t leave such a big dent in my wallet and gives me the same amazing results.
The only challenge maybe will be in getting a roast that’s small enough for your intended purpose, but if you ask your butcher nicely, I’m sure that he will gladly carve you a nice tiny little one pounder roast out of the finest, freshest piece of meat he’s got in the shop!
When you get home with your roast, what you want to do is place the beef in the freezer for about an hour, until it starts to form ice crystals and gets really firm but isn’t yet frozen solid; you should still be able to pierce it with the point of a sharp knife.
While your beef is chilling, you could take the opportunity to make the dressing. To do that, combine some olive oil, whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, sriracha (or sambal oelek), salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Mix well and set that aside for now.
When you find that your beef has been in the freezer for a sufficient amount of time and has reached the desired texture, you’re gonna want to grind it with a knife.
I find the best way to do that is to slice it thinly against the grain, then cut each slice into fine strips and then finally, dice those strips as finely as you can.
Then, finish grinding / chopping your meat with your knife until it has the desired consistency.
You want your meat to be coarsely ground. Not so finely that it would form dense patties if you were to press it between your fingers, but finely enough that it will not require much chewing action at all…
Once your meat has reached the desired consistency, place it in a mixing bowl, along with the dry shallots, egg yolk, chopped parsley, chopped capers and dressing that you made earlier.
Mix delicately until well combined…
Note that, at this point, you could very well place this mixture in the refrigerator for up to a few hours if you weren’t ready to serve your tartare just yet… It would even allow the flavors to get better acquainted and make friends!
Just don’t overdo it, though; 2 to 3 hours is pretty much the maximum that this meat can afford to wait, without starting to turn all kinds of somewhat less appetizing colors on you.
When ready to serve, divide the mixture into 4 equal servings and press each serving into a round cookie cutter.
Pack the meat down lightly with a fork. Lightly being the keyword here. You want your tartare to remain light and “fluffy” — it’s not hockey pucks you’re serving!
Remove the ring to reveal all the beauty of your tartare and repeat with the remaining servings.
Garnish your beef tartare with micro greens and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, if desired.
Traditionally, tartare is served with crispy toasted bread or croutons, but if you wanted to keep things grain free or low carb, I find that Belgian endives make for a wonderful substitute. Their fresh crispness and slightly piquant flavor go superbly well with the raw beef.
And now there’s only one thing left to do: DIG IN!
I’ve absolutely no doubt that you will be sold at the very first bite.
- 454g (1lb) top round beef
- 1 dry shallot, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp capers, chopped
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Old Fashioned Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sriracha or sambal oelek
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Balsamic Reduction
- Belgian Endives
- Place the beef in the freezer for about 60 minutes, until it starts to form ice crystals and gets really firm but not frozen solid; you should still be able to pierce it with the point of a sharp knife.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: in a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, sriracha (or sambal oelek), salt and pepper. Reserve.
- When your beef has been in the freezer long enough, slice it thinly against the grain, then cut each slices into fine strips and then finally, dice those strips as finely as you can.
- Finish grinding / chopping the meat with your knife until it has a coarse ground consistency, then place the meat in a mixing bowl.
- Add the shallots, egg yolk, chopped parsley, chopped capers and reserved dressing to the beef and mix delicately until well combined.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal servings and press each serving into a round cookie cutter. Pack the meat down lightly with a fork and then remove the ring.
- Garnish with micro greens and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, if desired.
- Serve cold with fresh endives or toasted croutons.