Steak tartare is a meat dish made from finely chopped or
ground raw beef or horse meat. Tartare can also be made by thinly slicing a high
grade of meat such as strip steak, marinating it in wine or other
spirits, spicing it to taste, and then chilling it.
Left: Steak tartare
with egg, capers and onions.
It is often served with onions,
capers and seasonings (the latter typically incorporating fresh ground pepper
Worcestershire sauce), sometimes with a raw egg, and often on rye bread.
A popular legend is that the dish is named after the nomadic
Tatar people of the Central Asian steppes, who ate raw meat as they rode their
horses because they did not have time to stop and cook. A variation of this
story is that the meat was kept under the horse's saddles to be tenderized by
the day's riding.
In fact, steak tartare got its name from
tartar sauce. It was first served in
French restaurants early in the 20th century. What is now generally known as
"steak tartare" was then called steak à l'Americaine.
Steak tartare is now regarded as a gourmet dish. It is especially popular in
Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern Germany, France, Poland, Hungary,
Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Left: Steak Tartare
in a restaurant in Paris.
A variant of steak tartare (called tartarmad) is also present in
where it is served on
rugbrød with assorted toppings. In Germany, there is a
very popular variant using raw minced pork called
Hackepeter, which is
typically served on rye bread or rolls, with the onions and pepper, but without
capers or egg.
The Mexican version of steak tartare typically marinates the meat in lime juice,
while the standard version is marinated in wine.