Tatar Steak

Discussion in 'Food & Drink' started by czechchris, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    Has anyone tried this food?

    Tatarský biftek, topinky
    Steak Tartar served with Toast and Garlic

    This was on the menu at a restaurant I went ot last week in Prague, and my Czech friend ate it with gusto, but I'm sorry to say he couldn't tempt me to try it.

    I did try, and enjoy very much, tripe soup. Delicious.
  2. ursula

    ursula Well-Known Member

    ive eaten steak tartare in germany and austria and i love it!!
    they dont have it as a rule in america, so i have to fix my own. it s delicious. but than i am german and used to it.
  3. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    You better explain what it is, you might tempt someone to order it.

    It is scraped beaf loin (best cut and freshest!!), not cooked. It is usually served mounted on plate with egg yolk in the midddle and around the "steak" is chopped onion, mustard, paprika, pepper, salt... etc. And yes it is traditionally served with fried rye bread rubbed with fresh garlic. The way to eat it is to mix all together, but watch for amount of spices, it is usually more than you would want (watch for hot paprika). You mix it with knife and fork. It is not appetizer but meal.

    It is not cheap pub meal. Many people love it and it is delicious. If you like rare steak you will probably enjoy it.

    Sometimes they sell smaller versions already mixed on slice of rye/garlic bread. That is cheaper version, but not cheap.
  4. ursula

    ursula Well-Known Member

    i used to work at a furniture factory as an international coordinator and one of the designers ate it in cologne at a furniture show . i was impressed, an american who tried different foods and liked them. scarther than hens teeth in those days
  5. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Well, it's just steak tartare, it's also very common in France. It is generally served with French fries, a salad, and red wine. Delicious and healthy. I think it's unknown in the Anglo-Saxon world.
    I didn't know it was available in Prague. The next time I'm there, I'll have it for lunch.
  6. ursula

    ursula Well-Known Member

    my grandfather, who had a restaurant in stuttgart, told me steak tartar came from the mongols/huns. they put a piece of meat under their saddle and rode on it til it was tender!
  7. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    We have the same legend in France. Actually, if the Mongols had the recipe it describes, the meat was not ground but somehow tenderized.

    Steak tartare is France is raw ground beef. It is callled _tartare_ because of the spices that accompany it. The adjective doesn't tell anything about its origin.

    The funny thing is that according to a French site the recipe was first fictitious - an invention of Jules VERNE to give mock local colour to his novel _Michel Strogoff_.

    "De fait, son nom comme sa recette, ont été inventés de toutes pièces par Jules Verne qui voulait ajouter une note de couleur locale à son roman Michel Strogoff."

    Another French site says that the Germans have their own version called "Hackpeter". Have you heard of it?
  8. Ruzete

    Ruzete Well-Known Member

    I heard the same thing from my history teacher, also the sweat of their small horses gave it taste (salty) and they would eat it right off its back since the horses over heated since they ran them so much.
  9. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Frankly I don't believe this, and I am surprised that a history teacher should peddle this legend as historical truth.

    From what I have read about the Mongols, they don't have that many cows, if at all, so no or little beef, although there is a recipe of cooked beef on the web. Their main meat is mutton, and the milk they consume, fresh or fermented, often comes from mares.

    The link below has a tongue-in-cheek list of food recipes the Mongols might have invented. Steak tartare is not among them.

    Here are additional data about Mongol food taken from web sites.

    Travel Amongst the Tartars [Middle-Ages]
    By Peotr Alexeivich Novgorodski
    Mongol food is not good. They boil all their meats without salt. They commonly eat beef, mutton and horseflesh. These are good, but also they mix the clean and the unclean, eating wolves, foxes, dogs, carrion, animal afterbirths, mice and when necessary human flesh. Likewise they eat all manner of birds. They do not use napkins or tablecloths at dinner and so eat in excessive filth. They wash their platters rarely and very badly and the same applies to their spoons. Take caution then, for to spit out a morsel of food once it is put in the mouth is to invite immediate death.
    Mongols are more given to great drunkenness than any other nation on earth. They may welcome you with drink of mead, but their own drink is a sour mare's milk. This they may drink for several days together. If you can stand it, drink with them, for it is a great honor. However, do not pour mare's milk on the ground, for this is a sin also.
    [The above letter, written in persona, is based on the following first-hand accounts by travelers in the 1240s and 1250s: John of Pian de Carpine's Journey to Mongolia in 1246 and The Court of Batu Khan in 1253 from Medieval Russia, a Source Book. Ed. Basil Dmytryshyn (Hinsdale, IL: The Dryden Press, 1973) and Historia Tartarorium (the Tartar Relation) from R.A. Skelton, T.E. Marston, G.D. Painter. The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)]

    Mongol immigrant workers in Korea [20th century]
    Though the real "Nadam Festival" is a gigantic and compound festival, the Mongol cultural center prepared a small but intensive festival to satisfy both citizens of Seoul and migrants from Mongolia. Horseback riding, archery and mongol wrestling were with Hurshik, the traditional mongol food made by boiled lamb meat. Unlike Northern European or Northern American countries, sponsors and governmental supports are scarce in the so called "3rd world". But the "Nadam Festival" counted almost a thousand migrant Mongolians. People lined up to taste the Hurshik. Many applauded on the dynamic wrestling. But there were few Korean citizens in the festival.
  10. Ruzete

    Ruzete Well-Known Member

    i failed to mention that they used their dead horse meat, since they were always moving especially w/ Ghengis Khan, whenever their horses died they couldn't risk their food supply by just leaving it, i din't mean that there was beef involved but just tlaking about what they practiced. I don't know if that changes your mind at all but i'm sorry not explaining it a little more!
  11. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member


    I ordered steak tartare in a Paris restaurant and they brought it already mixed! Is that the norm in France? For shame, the fun part of eating steak tartare is mixing it to one's own taste. Plus it looks much better with the raw yolk on top and all the ingredients nicely arranged around it.
  12. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm afraid I'm not convinced, Ruzete. I fail to see the connection between dead horse meat tenderized under a saddle and ground beef or minced beef.

    Besides, once again, steak tartare is thus called because of the various ingredients you mix up with the meat (including pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, tabasco, vinegar) that are deemed to be Tartar, but are not used by the "Tartars" themselves.

    The term tartare as used by restaurants is so much connected to the process that now you can have tartare de poisson "fish tartar", tartare de tomate "tomato tartar" etc. :)

    By the way, normally "Tartar" does not refer to the Mongols, but to the Manchus. During the centuries when the Manchus dominated the Chinese, French travellers used the term Tartarie to refer to China and the other possessions of the Manchus.

    In his souvenirs, a Chinese eunuch of the Manchu court reports that there was an enormous cauldron in the kitchens of the Forbidden City where meat had been constlanty boiled since the conquest. The cooks constantly added meat and water. The eunuch had once the occasion to swallow a bowl of it; he found it very disappointing, almost tasteless.
  13. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    No, Eva2, it's not the norm. In a good restaurant, the ground / minced meat and the various ingredients are kept separate for the customer to inspect their freshness (the yolk should not "leak" and the meat should be red everywhere with no gray part). Then the waiter mixes everything in a bowl in front of you. He leaves you the Worcestershire sauce etc. to adjust it to your taste.

    In the best restaurants, the meat is prime beef minced not ground, and the yolk is served in a little bowl, but this is rare now.

    In your case I would have refused it.
  14. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Tatars or Tartars is a collective name applied to the Turkic-speaking people of Europe and Asia. Most Tatars live in the central and southern parts of Russia, Ukraine, Poland and in Bulgaria, China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. They collectively numbered more than 8 million in the late 20th century. Most Tatars are Muslims.

    The name is derived from that of the Ta-ta Mongols, who in the 5th century inhabited the north-eastern Gobi, and, after subjugation in the 9th century by the Khitans, migrated southward, there founding the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan.
  15. SMZ

    SMZ Well-Known Member

    This (steak tartare) is not unknown in the US. Granted, it's not seen frequently on menus, but that's probably because it's simply not a popular choice. Not many people here eat raw meats or eggs, mainly out of fear of salmonella or something like that.

    The only places I've seen it listed have been at very upscale restaurants, sometimes in small portions as an appetizer.

  16. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Well ... it's possible these terms have a different meaning in English or that they refer to two different periods in the history of China: the Mongol (not Turkic) occupation and the Manchu (not Turkic) occupation.

    In French, la Grande Tartarie or simply la Tartarie referred to China under Manchu occupation.

    For instance this is a passage from a chapter relating the Chinese resistance against the Manchus.
    "La consternation estoit si grande dans Pekim, que les Tartares traitaoient déjà d'abandonner la Chine & de s'en retourner en Tartarie." (Adrien GRESLON, Histoire de la Chine sous la domination des Tartares, 1671: 8)
    = Consternation was so great in Beijing that the Tartars were now talking of abandoning China and returning to Tartary.
  17. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Les Tatars (ou, déformé, Tartares) est un nom collectif donné à des peuples turcs d'Europe orientale et d'Asie. La plupart des Tatars vivent au centre et au Sud de la Russie, en Ukraine, en Bulgarie, en Chine, au Kazakhstan, en Roumanie, en Turquie, et au Ouzbekistan. On en dénombrait plus de 8 millions à la fin du XXe siècle. La plupart des Tatars sont musulmans. (Wikipedia)

    Je voudrais bien apprendre plus de la différence de signification du nom Tatar ou Tartar en francais et en anglais.
  18. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Jana, in French, the terms Tartare and Tatare are synonymous and refer to all the peoples of Central Asia whether they be Turks or Mongols, so they are vague. In the references like the one I give in my previous post, particularly in the books written by Catholic missionaries in China, they refer to the Manchus and occur in a large number of texts. In these sources, L'empereur de Tartarie ou le Roi de Tartarie always refer to the Manchu emperor of China.
  19. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member


    I'm confused by one of your earlier posts. You say "From what I have read about the Mongols, they don't have that many cows, if at all, so no or little beef ...," yet the quote you provide from the book on Tartars in the Middle-Ages says, "Mongol food is not good ... They commonly eat beef, mutton and horseflesh." Can you explain the apparent contradiction here?
  20. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Sova the old sources do not mention what quantities they ate of each of these meats. That the Mongols have a lot less beef at their disposal than mutton and horseflesh is clearly stated in the documentaries I watched on TV, and the documents I read on the web.

    I even have the impression many nomadic Mongol groups have no cow at all.

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