Wednesday, February 16, 2011

(Has Enough Time Gone By?)

I guess I can talk now about some of the food we prepared for St. Vallie's Day. I just hate to get caught up in all that timely, trendy blogging, so I waited. Heart-shaped cookies, heart-shaped cakes, heart-shaped hard-cooked eggs. Yeek!
This is much more sophisticated. Heart-shaped raw meat.
OK, you probably know it as steak tartare. Ground red muscle seasoned with traditional European flavors of mustard, shallots, Worcestershire, capers. Raw egg for that gluey, patted-together congeal-iness. I've had that, and I've liked it. But I was looking for something different.
Last year, we were totally skunked on some raw beef. It was unchewable. Didn't even taste that great cooked (which was our last resort).
This year we got a small, aged rib-eye steak. I didn't know for sure if it would be too fat, too tough... It wasn't. Recommended.
First rule of Steak Tartare Club: Don't let your butcher grind the meat. This protein should be minced with a good knife, at home, by you. It's actually very satisfying to mince a good steak, and it works.
Second: What if you seasoned it some other way? I immediately thought of minced green garlic, which is in season. Then my mind wandered to a couple of dribbles of soy sauce, for sodiumami™. Finally, I wanted a kick. Chile oil! From that Chinese stuff in the jar; it's in the door of your fridge.
Third: Hold off on the oil. Shape the meat (and shoyu and garlic) loosely in some romantic, silly design. Bird? Daisy? Hah, no. Heart. Dude.
Fourth: OK, now drizzle a little chile oil over your confection. A little is good; a lot is probably not.
Serve with baguette rounds and some other heart-shaped fabulousness, which I will tell you about soon.


Ms Brown Mouse said...

So, have your tried the lamb version, kibbeh nayeh? Absolutely amazing.

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, no! I haven't heard of this. NEXT. And thanks.

Zoomie said...

sodiumami! sodiumami! It rolls off the tongue!

Peter would probably make his heart with actual heart. I'm glad you didn't.

SimplyStated said...

Oh wow...I am impressed...I know I couldn't get Hubby Divine (who demands that dead meat be really dead and done when he eats it)to try it...even though after 5 days of me trying to rescue his Windows XP from the BSOD through Ubuntu... you'd think he could be persuaded. Not.

I did make the "You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Pasta Sauce" and my infamous "Best Meatloaf in the Whole Wide Galaxy" recipe for him to show I understood his grief over his computer crashing the day before Valentine's Day.

He in turn brought home pink tulips, chocolate and a "penguin shaped reading pillow"... so how could I, the total non-geek of the family, resist continuing to attempt to rescue his computer from oblivion?

I couldn't. Of course I also called one of the many offspring we currently have enrolled in college and got extra assistance. I chose the one we have enrolled at an Ivy league because that is precisely why we wanted him there.

He said I should have gone for your recipe even though he was heartsick about not being home for the coveted family meatloaf. Maybe I can talk the hubby into it soon.

And I wonder what would have happened if you had tried Miso paste or red pepper flakes for the extra kick?

Anonymous said...

Like you, I avoided the Valentine-geared post, figured that enough bloggers would take care of the issue! :-)

I've never made steak tartar at home, but enjoyed it in restaurants a few times - you are right about the texture of the meat being very important.

Nice post!

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Urban homesteading! Sodiumami! Heh.
Speaking of Peter's cold, cruel heart, I had just seen a brief video of Chris Cosentino chopping up a trimmed beef heart for "steak" tartare. His was very loose-textured, which gave me the idea to make mine loose.

Simply: Aw, your hubz won't eat it? Mine ate some with me on one of our first dates.
Very good story about your tech whiz kid (which Ivy, if I may be so snoopy?).
AND! I really like your idea about incorporating some miso into the meat mix. It might act a little bit as a binder, and that's not bad! Plus, I love miso.

Bewitch: Thank you, Sally. It's really easy to do at home, but I admit there's something special about having it in a restaurant. Tender meat, that's the ticket.

namastenancy said...

WHAT? You have never had kibbeh nayeh? My Lebanese relatives made the best (other than me, of course). With the good Mendocino spring lamb, it should be divine. You don't want old lamb as the flavor is too gamey and strong.

Wiki has links to dozens of sites with recipes but the Lebanese is best (IMHO) - and I'm not saying that just because...

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Seriously, I had never even heard of it. (I just love your worldview of cuisine... I'm too much of a Pacific brat.)
Thank you for the encouragement and the link. Good young lamb is to be had!

namastenancy said...

World view - well, I'd lived in several countries by the time I was 18 and traveled a lot in my 20's - and taught in the Middle East. The ""world view" of food came naturally! Of course, it's also due to my superior capacities, intelligence, talent and ..well, now I wouldn't want to be stuck up and brag, would I?