Serves 4 as an appetizer
BEEF TARTARE IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS, so almost every menu I have a hand in will have raw beef in some form. We’ve done a couple of different tartares at Major Tom, but this one represents our style best – classic flavours with a bit of a spin. It’s beef tartare that tastes like French onion soup – with caramelized onions, sherry vinegar, Gruyère and lots of beef fat and reduced veal stock.
- 1 small piece beef fat, about 60 g (2 oz)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 sprig thyme (optional)
- a few black peppercorns (optional)
- 50 ml (¼ cup) canola oil
- 150 g (5 oz) top-quality beef sirloin, trimmed
- 50 g (2 oz) onion, minced, caramelized and cooled
- ½ egg yolk
- 12 g (2 tsp) veal demi-glace*
- 10 g (3 tbsp) minced cornichon
- 6 g (2 tbsp) minced shallot
- 5 g (1 tsp) sherry vinegar
- Maldon salt
- 10 g (1½ tbsp) grated Gruyère
- chives, minced
- 4 slices sourdough (or kaiser bun)
*You may use highly reduced veal stock or beef stock (or even Knorr or Bovril) as a substitute. Note: All these will be salty, so add less salt when finishing the dish.
Place beef fat and (optional) garlic, bay leaf. thyme and peppercorns in a small saucepan on low heat until fat renders – about 10 minutes. Strain fat into a bowl, add an equal amount of canola oil and set aside. Dice beef and transfer to a bowl with 10 g (1 tbsp) of the rendered fat mixture, the caramelized onion, egg yolk, demiglace , cornichon, shallot and sherry vinegar. Combine well and season with salt. Taste and adjust salt, vinegar and fat if necessary. Mound tartare on a chilled plate and garnish with Gruyère, chives and pepper. Toast bread slices, brush one side with fat mixture and sprinkle with salt. Serve.
Photos by (portrait) Jasmine Jones, (food) Julya Hajnokzky