Courtesy of Grapes and Soda.
*We recommend Tri-tip. Top Sirloin, Sirloin or Hanger steak would also work, but you must account for any silver skin, sinew or large pieces of fat that will need to be removed in before you determine the weight. We dry our beef on hay for an extra week, so you will want to use at least 28-day dry aged organic beef, or the very best quality meat your butcher can provide. Remember: you are eating it raw!
Blanche 1 cup of BC Blueberries in a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, 150 mL of each should suffice for this volume of berries) very quickly, 20-30 seconds. Strain (reserving the syrup for another use, i.e. cocktails, as part of a blueberry sauce for pancakes, dehydrating other berries). Lay out the berries on parchment paper and dehydrate until half dry, cool, reserve.
Begin cleaning your beef. Using your boning knife, start removing any large pieces of fat and as much sinew and ‘silver skin’ as possible. Leaving behind some fat will add a nice texture and mouth feel. Your butcher may be able to do this for you. At the restaurant, we render the fat and trim on low heat with some uncrushed cubeb peppercorns, then strain it off and add it back into the Tartar when mixing it up.The flavour is un-paralleled for this preparation, much preferred over using Olive Oil.
Once clean, you can cut it into a small dice using a very sharp chef knife, or run it through a meat grinder using the smallest die. Grind/chop this as close to serving as possible to help preserve the colour and flavour.
Grind your cubeb pepper in a mortar and pestle, pass through a fine mesh and reserve.
Chop your Shallots into a very fine dice (brunoise), and rinse well under running water until the ‘shallot’ aroma dissipates. Drain well and reserve.
Wash your Radishes and Leafy Garnish, dry well. Slice the radish very thinly. I recommend using a mandolin, reserve.
We make the dressing using ratios, as this allows us to make larger or smaller quantities depending on our needs at the restaurant. Using a large soup or tablespoon measure together: 2 parts Soy Sauce, 2 parts Reduced Beet Juice, 4 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 parts Red Wine (Cabernet) Vinegar, 1 part Fish Sauce.
Mix well, taste and add a pinch of sugar to balance it out. Mix well again to incorporate sugar, and taste again, reserve.
This is the easy part! Use a bowl large enough to allow you to mix things up well.
Place your beef into the bowl. Add in some shallots, dried beets, dried blueberries, rinsed shallots, a generous pinch of Maldon salt and Cubeb Pepper, some rendered Fat (if you’re using it, which you should!) and a good few spoons of well mixed dressing.
Mix well but do not over mix and turn it into a paste. You want some nice beefy texture to remain.Season to your preferred taste.
Plate the Tartar nicely on your favorite plates, and garnish with the sliced radishes, small pieces of your Leafy Garnish and fresh BC Blueberries. Serve with the Crusty Bread and a delicious Malbec.