I am doing up some steak tartare for a wine group showing up tonight and went in to order the meat at the local butcher.
Apparently they get all sorts in there allegedly doing the same thing. They asked me if I wanted New York or Ribeye and I told them no, the only way I liked it and therefore the only way I prepare it is to use fillet/tenderloin. Then they asked me if I wanted them to grind it up for me, and I told them no, I didn't like it ground as it tended to reduce the texture to an almost mushy state. I told them I reduced it myself, into a brunoise, using a very sharp knife. There ensued a short discussion about knives - they use stainless with plastic handles that are easily washed and need frequent sharpening, and are eventually sold off and replaced after a certain service life - I have a couple of ex-butcher knives myself. I told them I prefer a carbon steel blade that isn't as pretty but takes an exceptionally sharp edge for work like this.
The discussion seemed to qualify me in their eyes as a beef aficionado, and the head butcher went into the cooler to grab a whole fillet and proceeded to trim it out for me (it took him maybe 7 or 8 minutes) even though I was just buying maybe a pound of it.
The whole experience made me think of tartare and beef and I thought I'd post a note to see how others view the subject.
Do you do your own tartare, or do you have a butcher do it, and if the latter, do you have it ground?
What hot sauce do you add? While I am a big fan of sriracha for most things I find Tabasco (or Louisiana Hot) and a dash or three of Worcestershire a preferable way to go.
Any secret ingredients? (I like some grated orange peel in mine, and the usual lots of capers and very finely chopped shallots - I usually forego the Cognac some use). I also omit cornichons and anchovies (and I'm a BIG anchovy fan) as I just don't think they add much to the plainer version.