Thursday, February 25, 2010

Steak Tartare. As If.

What a sad tale.
We wanted a little steak tartare to eat on Valentine's Day. It so happens the oysters done us in that day, and we didn't crave the beef, so we popped it into the freezer for a while.
We got this meat from a really great butcher. I love the guy. A couple of years ago, he sold us a trimming of aged Chateaubriand to make our steak tartare; it was too small for anything else. And he offered to grind it. (Non, monsieur! We will knife it at home, primally and perfectly, and we don't want that spurt of ground turkey that's lurking in your machine.)
It was really good. Really.
This time, Cranky asked if there were any such luxury items in the "too small" case.
The butcher got a little testy! "I will not sell you Chateaubriand for steak tartare! Take this sirloin tip; it's traditional. You want me to grind it?"
Sigh. No, thanks. We'll take it, but no grindy.
We were in love with our knifing technique. So much, that I wouldn't even let Cranky do it; I had to have the honors.
But I couldn't do it. The meat was too tough.
Cranky got in there and made mincemeat of the meat, and I stepped up and blended in the chopped capers, shallot, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and a bit of egg yolk. Black pepper. And then I tasted it, for taste.
Tasted fine. Couldn't chew it.
Cranky tasted it, and immediately said, we are cooking this.
It made pretty decent hamburgers, but they fell apart because of all the junk in there.


Zoomie said...

Tell us about your technique, please. My Beloved is very fond of "cannibal steak," but I've never known how to make it.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Seriously, he wouldn't sell you what you wanted? What business is it of his what you're going to do with it? If you're paying he can F*** right off. Cheeky bugger.

dancingmorganmouse said...

So, if it fell apart, does that make that sandwich a 'sloppy joe'?

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: It's perfectly OK to use a meat grinder, but your butcher's grinder has remnants of previous grindings in it. So use your own grinder, or knife it very fine. One, get nice meat. Even a petite filet mignon. Two, hack it fine. Three, mix in flavorings. It's typical to use some egg yolk, and we like the other flavorings I mentioned. Pretty easy. (Quantities? Go skimpy.)

Mouse: I know. I'm mad at him now. And yes, it was a Joe! Hah.

Chilebrown said...

Is there any chance you would share the name and location of your butcher. Research, you know!

I hope to be eating Asparagus watching the closing ceremony of the Ice Capades.

Winterland was a great place to watch the Ice follys as a child. Little did I know the musical treats in store later.

Cyndi said...

If it fell apart, that makes it a loose meat sandwich - which is common in Iowa. Sort of a sloppy joe without the sloppy sauce.

Kevin said...

What a shame. I've made tartare, but I have made carpaccio a couple of times.

Greg said...

I must admit I like a rare steak but Steak Tartare.......Naw no thanks.Cal me wimpy.

Zoomie said...

I use my aging food processor for "grinding" but it's really "whacking," I think.

Rev. Biggles said...

Hmmm, sounds like we're both having some troubles in the kitchen. I'm sorry!

xo, Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

Chilebrown: Certainly! He is Bryan of Bryan's Fine Foods in the Town Center shopping center of Corte Madera. A far more yupscale experience than you're probably used to, Marin and all. We get our aged standing rib roast there for Christmas, and he sells Gulf shrimp with the heads on. Nice deli counter, too.

Cyndi: Ha, ha. Loose meat sandwich. Wasn't Roseanne Barr going to open a loose meat restaurant? (Whatever happened to her?)

Kevin: It just makes me want to try again. And this time I'm telling the butcher what I WANT.

Greg: That's not wimpy. I used to know a Japanese woman who hated raw fish.

Zoomie: It can be done in the food processor. But ya gotta watch it; I made meat paste once. (How old is your fool processor? Mine's almost 30.)

Biggles: Aw, thanks. Next week, let's be culinary deities!

Zoomie said...

I can't recall the exact year I got my Cuisinart but it was back in the last millennium for sure, perhaps 1980-ish? They were a luxury item back then, a splurge present from then-hubby. The case is cracked but it still works like a champ.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Yeah, that was then! We got two for wedding presents; a small one from my parents and a mega-one from a group of friends who went in together on it. Guess which one it was deemed most politically correct to return?

Chilebrown said...

Your right, I cannot handle Yupscale experiences. I do live on the south of Marin.

peter said...

Next time, just tell the butcher what you want and leave out what you want it for. It's none of his damn business anyway.

Anonymous said...

Too bad that didn't work out. I have also learned the hard way that it's best to stick to my guns on what I want. I'm glad the end result still tasted good!

Heather said...

A loosemeat sammich isn't a terrible way to lose that game.

Zoomie said...

Wow, Hobson's choice there. I'd have kept 'em both and brought the appropriate one out when that set of gifters was in the house. :-D

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: The butcher is not a total Nazi. But, yeah. It's none of his business.

Zia: You don't often get a happy result from an initial failure. But I still want the tartare, dammit!

Heather: It was very eaty! Win.

Zoomie: Doink! Never thought of that. Still, we used the money from the trade-in to buy a charming set of Provence dinnerware.