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French Onion Soup Tartare

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.

Garrett Martin & Garrett Rotel

Chefs, Major Tom



  • 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
  • pepper
  • 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

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