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It took me awhile to develop a taste for steak tartare but now that I have I can't get enough of it. There's something about the lightly seasoned, slightly chewy beef that I just love. I serve it with some chopped granny smith apples and orange zest for acidity, along with some pickled onions and cucumbers. I'll also use some smoked salt if I have it on hand.
It's critical you use high quality beef that is not pre-ground in addition to making sure your hands and work environment are clean. I've given my favorite amounts for the olive oil and vinegar flavoring but tweak it to however you like.
If you don't have a whipping siphon you can skip that step of the pickle recipe and let them sit in the refrigerator for an extra day or two. Some people really enjoy a raw egg yolk on their tartare, I'm not always a fan of that but if you like it, go for it!
Also, if you are just getting started experimenting with molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine then I highly recommend one of these molecular gastronomy kits. They have everything you need to do many different dishes.
Combine all the ingredients except the onion and cucumber in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve completely. Remove from the heat.
Add the onion and cucumbers to the still-hot brine. Let the brine cool then pour it and the vegetables into the whipping siphon, being sure not to overfill it. Seal the siphon, charge, and shake well. Let the siphon stay pressurized for at least 20 to 30 minutes, either in the refrigerator or on the counter.
Vent the siphon then pour out the pickles into a bowl. The pickles are then ready to serve.
Wash the outside of the meat and then coat with salt. Let sit on the counter for an hour for the salt to dry the outside of the meat. Rinse the meat and then cut it into a small dice. You can also grind the meat if you have a meat grinder, just make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned first.
Toss the diced meat with the olive oil, salt, vinegar, and black pepper. Taste for seasoning.
Place a ring mold on a serving plate and fill with the steak tartare. Sprinkle on some sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Top with parsley, chopped apple, and orange zest. Place some pickles on the side and serve.