Beef tartare

Beef tartareHarry Weir

This is a very old, classic dish. Tell your butcher that you are making steak tartare – you need the highest quality beef for this dish. It needs to be as fresh as possible and it needs to be eaten that day. Dry-aged beef is best. Wash the beef well before chopping.

Serves 4 as starter, 2 as main


  • 350g beef fillet
  • 4 quail egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 4 teaspoons minced gherkin
  • 4 teaspoons capers
  • 4 teaspoons chives
  • 4 teaspoons parsley
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 200g beech mushrooms
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 200ml white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ lemon rind 


  1. To make the pickled mushrooms, wash the mushrooms, being careful not to remove the head/tip and place in a sterilised jar. Place all the other ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for five minutes and then pour over the mushrooms. Seal, allow to cool and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.
  2. Using a sharp knife, chop the meat on a clean board into very small dice. Try to get it as fine as you can. Place all the meat in a clean bowl.
  3. Crack the eggs and reserve the four yolks – you don’t need the whites for this recipe.
  4. Mix the rest of the ingredients together. If you have a blender, avoid all the chopping and mincing and simply add all the ingredients to a blender and use the pulse setting.
  5. To finish, carefully mix the blended ingredients with the chopped beef, divide between four moulds or cookie cutters, setting each on a plate. Place one yolk on top of each mould, garnish with the mushrooms and serve.

Tip: The pickled mushrooms can be made in advance and last up to a month. Alternatively, serve with piccalilli or horseradish.

Recipe credit: Ryan Stringer

Photography credit: Harry Weir