This trio of beef was created to serve with a 1998 Silver Oak Cabernet, a big wine requiring big flavors to stand up to it. It had several components including: Prime CAB flat iron steak that was bonded with Activa and cooked sous vide, braised beef short rib wrapped in brioche, steak tartare with sunny side up quail egg and bearnaise aioli, and sous vide heirloom carrot with spring peas, pea tendril and carrot-coriander puree.
Steak tartare is a preparation in which raw, high-grade beef (in our case, Prime CAB beef tenderloin) is minced then typically mixed with capers, onion, lemon, oil, salt and pepper. Traditionally it is served with chopped egg; in this case we served it with a sunny side up quail egg and an aioli infused with fresh tarragon and tarragon vinegar.
Legend has it that steak tartare originated with the nomadic Tatar people of Central Asia, who rode on horseback and seldom had the time to cook their beef. It is said that rather than mincing their steak, they placed it under their saddles as they rode to tenderize it. The version that we have come to know was first served in the early 20th Century in France and was called Steak a l’Americaine by Escoffier. The key difference between Escoffier’s preparation and the one we’ve come to know is that the classical preparation was served with tartar sauce rather than egg, probably how we’ve come to know it as “Steak Tartare”.