Is It True, Not, Or Just A Crock of Steak Tartar?
According to legend of Eastern Europe, when The Tartars – a nomadic people of Eurasian origin – traveled to Tartarus, they lacked time to cook, always in such a rush on horseback. With the absence of pots, pans and utensils, tenderizing meat could only be accomplished by placing the beef underneath the horse’s saddle, squishing it as they rode their merry way from place to place. In fact this is believed to be how Steak Tartar got its name.
The earliest American version of the dish was introduced by the renowned restaurateur Guido August Luchow who first opened his fabled German restaurant, Luchow’s near Broadway at 110 E 14th Street, on Manhattan‘s fabled East Side in 1882, filled with unusual delights to capture the imagination, a veritable collage of colorful foods before the advent of refrigeration, or antibiotics.
A simple recipe, it first appeared in Luchow’s Cookbook in 1952 and was rumored to have been put on the menu to entice some of his stout patrons to lose weight. Today, it’s considered a gourmet dish especially in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, and of course when in a Hungary state somewhere in Eastern Europe.
First, remove as much of the fat as you can from the meat before grinding (not after). Then arrange what looks to me like a raw hamburger artfully on the buttered toast, serve a raw egg yolk on top of each slice and garnish with anchovies and capers. Voila, Steak Tartar, a delightfully uncooked serving for two, perhaps with lurking Salmonella.
I’m still trying to figure out how the Tartars made toast without a toaster?