Raw Pleasures, Beef Sirloin Tartare with Quail Eggs from Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook

As sushi calls for great seafood, steak tartare calls fortender cut of meat.

Last time, I had a taste of tartare was when I interviewed Jean-Marie Le Bourdonnec, the French boucher, in Brooklyn.

Depending on the guests you expect this week-end, the sirloin tartare recipe below from  The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook Haute Cuisine, Texas Style (Rizzoli, March 2012) by Helen Thompson could be an inspired replacement for beef sliders.

Beef Sirloin Tartare with potato crisps and quail egg



10 ounces lean Kobe beef, or prime sirloin, cut into ¹/8-inch dice

2 tablespoons finely diced gherkins

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 teaspoon chopped capers

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Sea salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


1 Idaho potato

4 cups peanut oil

Sea salt


4 quail eggs, yolks in their shells

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Sirloin tartare

Combine the beef, gherkins, red onion, capers, and chives in a chilled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Peel the potato and slice it paper thin, lengthwise, on a Japanese mandoline, then cut into 3 x 1-inch strips. Reserve the slices in a bowl of cold water.

Heat the peanut oil to 340 degrees F in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry. Fry the potato strips in the hot oil in small batches, stirring with a slotted spoon to cook evenly, until they are golden brown on both sides. Drain the hot crisps on paper towels and sprinkle them with sea salt.

When ready to serve, remove the tartare from the refrigerator and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss the tartare in the fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

To serve, place a 4-inch ring mold in the center of a chilled, round dinner plate and fill the mold with a quarter of the tartare mixture, packing it slightly at the edges. Carefully lift the mold off and repeat with the remaining three portions. Place one quail egg yolk in a shell in the center of each tartare serving, season the yolk with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and garnish the plate with the potato crisps. Serve immediately.

(* Recipe from 'The Mansion on Turtle Creek' cookbook by Helen Thompson published by Rizzoli USA March 2012, reproduced with permission, all rights reserved...Photographed by Robert Peacock)

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