Number 4: Steak Tartare

7 Oct

We have now arrived at the culinary pinnacle of my trip to Europe.  This was the best dish I ate over there- by far.  The thing is, I almost didn’t eat it at all.  The problem with steak tartare is that it goes against everything you’ve ever been taught.  I mean, how many times has your mother told you not to eat raw eggs?  And eating raw meat?  Well, that’s always a risk, even if it’s beef.  Steak tartare combines both of these things, and I was terrified that something would go wrong.  I certainly didn’t want to be bedridden for my last couple of days in Europe. Eventually, though, I sucked it up and just ordered it.

Boy, am I glad I made that choice!  The menu at Deminka, the place we ate almost every day, listed this item as “Beef tartare as Hašek liked it.”  First question: who the Hell is Hašek?  Second question: how does he like it?  After tasting the dish, I have came to the conclusion that Hašek, whoever he may be, liked it really fucking good.

First of all, the presentation was incredible.  There was a wide array of sauces and toppings, from olive oil to chopped onion to paprika.  Apparently, customization is key when you’re eating steak tartare.  The bread was crisply toasted and drenched in either olive oil or butter- not sure which.

I didn’t quite know exactly how to go about eating it, so I just messed around and tried different things.  My favorite combo was mustard, chopped onion, and whatever that dark spice was on the right (oregano?).  Incredible.

It tasted like a really good (but kind of cold and mushy) burger.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a raw egg before, but it was no different from when you dip your toast in a runny egg yolk.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

The only bad part was that after eating about 1/3 lb. of raw beef and 6 pieces of bread, I could barely move.  We had a long day of walking ahead of us, and I found that I was super sluggish for almost the entire thing.  Here’s a photo Dan took of me when we had only walked about 2 blocks from the restaurant:

This is one of those things that sticks with you.  In fact, I can taste it right now and it makes me sad that I probably won’t have this again for a looong time.  I think the taboo of it turns a lot of people off, but if I had this in front of me right now, it’d be gone in seconds.  And no, I didn’t get sick at all.  Woot!

10 Responses to “Number 4: Steak Tartare”

  1. Laura in Cancun October 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I actually had to make that once in school years ago. I remember being confused, but I enjoyed it nonetheless 🙂

  2. Amy October 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    I love me some steak tartare and that looks like the best damn presentation I could imagine for it. I have never had deconstructed steak tartare, and I want it right now. I just woke up. My mouth is watering…

    • IntenseGuy October 9, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Steak Tartare is a Czech dish, and Jaroslav Hasek was a famous (celebrated, even…) Czech writer and anarchist. He wrote ‘Good Soldier Svejk’.

  3. Beth October 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Oh, man, I’m drooling just reading this! That looks soooooo good. Yay for culinary success!

  4. Becki D. October 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Dude. You have so much bigger….nerves!..than I do. I want to try steak tartare sooo bad….but man. Getting past the whole “you are begging for food poisoning with this meal!” thing is tough. More tough than me, I think.

  5. Sophia @ Raven Waves October 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    So I know I’ve been the worst commenter for the past couple months, but I’ve been reading each and every post! 🙂 Love that you got so many foods done on your trip, and I can’t wait til you eat more of them! Miss ya!

  6. Matthew Pennington December 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I’ve always described steak tartare as a plate of risk.

  7. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic December 29, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    totally want to try that now. maybe on a day when I can lay on the couch!


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