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Steak tartare with melba toast and watercress

Chef Florent Chollet of Cav's Resturant

Read our interview with Chef Florent Chollet

This Hereford steak dish is "tartare au couteau " which means prepared with a knife. It is the simplest of recipes but its success relies on excellent ingredients. The Espelette pepper is grown in the French commune of Espetette, Pyrenees-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people. However if unavailable it can be replaced with black pepper.

  • Serves 4

Ingredients

For the steak tartare
  • 600g piece Hereford sirloin, well trimmed
  • 4 organic egg yolks
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 heaped tbsp rinsed baby capers
  • 6g sea salt flakes
  • 2g Espelette pepper
For the dressing
  • 160ml Japanese soy sauce
  • 40ml sweet rice wine vinegar
  • 40ml mirin
  • 22g ponzu or the finely grated rind of 1 lime
  • 90ml Japanese rice vinegar
  • Melba toast and watercress, to serve

Method

  1. Using a very sharp knife, finely chop the shallots and capers. Dice the beef and then mix in the shallots and capers. Set aside at room temperature.

  2. To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together and using a rubber spatula, mix 150ml of it into the beef mixture with the sea salt and Espelette pepper.

  3. Place a cooking ring on each serving plate and divide the beef mixture among them.

  4. Put the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water that is approximately 60 degrees with 100ml of the dressing and lightly whisk to an emulsion.

  5. Make a light hollow in the centre of each steak tartare and then carefully spoon in the egg yolk emulsion. Add some Melba toast and watercress to each plate to serve.