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The Art of Tartare

By Paul Estorffe   While food trends today may focus on vegetarian or vegan options, a tartare remains a staple of bistro cuisine, not only in the French speaking world but across the globe!   Tartare is a dish

By Paul Estorffe


While food trends today may focus on vegetarian or vegan options, a tartare remains a staple of bistro cuisine, not only in the French speaking world but across the globe!


Tartare is a dish that is surrounded in mystery. According to some sources, the recipe was developed by the Tatars, a nomadic people whose habit was to consume horsemeat, first  placing pieces of the meat under the saddles to tenderise them while they were riding. In 1876, steak tartare appeared on the menu in a play based on Jules Verne’s novel, Michel Strogoff.


In act 2, scene 5, an English journalist trades with a Tatar hotelier who offers him a “kulbat” a pie made with ground meat and eggs. During the same time, in Belgium and in the north of France, a similar recipe was served under the name filet americain, consisting of raw horse meat chopped by knife and seasoned with mayonnaise. Today, tartare is often made with ground beef.


Tartare Faux Pas

Serving the egg yolk in its shell on top of the meat – the shell can carry bacteria. Preparing the tartare in advance – chop or grind the meat at the last moment before serving, otherwise it could oxidise.

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