“This is a sensational recipe, whether you’re making it at home or out and about,” says picnic connoisseur, Max Halley.
“If you want to tartare at your picnic and haven’t successfully persuaded your butcher to chop the meat up for you, you’d better have a penknife in that kitbag and have remembered a chopping board.”
Steak tartare recipe from Max’s Picnic Book by Max Halley and Ben Benton
(Makes enough for 8–10 lettuce cups)
200g beef (ideally something lean, such as fillet)
2 little gem (bibb) lettuces, leaves separated
1 shallot, finely diced
1tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1tbsp capers, finely chopped
1tsp ground black pepper
½tsp Dijon mustard
Optional extras (not really, you’d be mad not to use these too): 1 egg yolk, a small handful of chopped parsley and a dash of Tabasco .
1. Chop your steak at home, add all the seasoning ingredients and mix well, then store in an airtight container until you are ready to eat.
2. If you are heading out on a hot day, you might not want to carry a bag full of raw meat, gently sweating in its own juices. On such a day, it’s a good idea to mix all the seasoning ingredients at home and take them with you in a little tub. While out and about, purchase your chosen piece of steak from a butcher, ask them to finely chop (never mince) the meat for you, and then mix the seasonings into the meat just before you eat. Either way, when the time comes, simply spoon the tartare into the lettuce cups and serve with the ‘optional’ extras alongside.
3. Why not explore the butcher’s counter a little further? Much of the cow works well in this way, be it as beef or veal. Heart is a world-beater when tartared, with some expert commentators (Ben Benton) suggesting it makes a steakier-tasting steak tartare than steak does. People are funny about heart, but it’s not a creepy secreting/filtering organ like liver or kidneys, it’s just a muscle like rump or fillet.
Max’s Picnic Book by Max Halley and Ben Benton, photography by Louise Hagger, is published by Hardie Grant, £16.99. Available March 18.