Polish Steak Tartare (Befszytk Tatarski) Recipe

Steak tartare
Claudia Totir / Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (7)

This recipe for Polish steak tartare or befsztyk tatarski is from chef Marek (Mark) Widomski, founder and director of The Culinary Institute in Cracow, Poland.

Since the meat and egg in this dish are eaten raw, use the most impeccable beef tenderloin you can find from a butcher you trust, and pasteurized eggs.

Freeze the leftover egg whites from this recipe and use them in these leftover egg white recipes.

What You'll Need

  • For the Steak Tartare:
  • 1 pound good-quality beef tenderloin (rinsed, sinew removed and coarsely ground or finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Polish grainy mustard (or other spicy brown mustard)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Garnish:
  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 small dill pickles (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoon capers
  • 6​ slices of bread for toast points

How to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 pound ground or finely chopped beef tenderloin, 1 tablespoon Polish mustard or other spicy brown mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large pasteurized egg yolk, 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Form it into a mound and place on a serving plate.
  2. Make a slight indentation in the center of the tartare and place a pasteurized egg yolk in it. Surround the tartare with 1 large finely chopped onion, 2 small finely chopped dill pickles and 3 tablespoons capers. Serve immediately. It is customary to mix all the ingredients together at table and serve with toast points.

    Note: Variations include adding anchovies and substituting red onion for the yellow onion.

    Origins of Steak Tartare

    The jury is still out on this one, but it's believed steak tartare (also known as beef tartare) originated in the Baltic provinces of Russia where, in medieval times, the Tatars shredded red meat with a knife and ate it raw while on horseback to avoid stopping to cook meals. 

    Others believe the dish was originally prepared in French restaurants near the beginning of the 20th century and was known as steak à l'Americaine, which translates as American steak.

    What remains factual is that the dish is popular throughout Western, Central and Eastern Europe, if not worldwide in one guise or another. In Belgium, it is served with fries and, in Denmark and Germany, it is often served on rye bread. Italians call their version of this dish carne cruda. When the tenderloin is thinly sliced and not ground, it is known as Italian carpaccio.

    More about the Culinary Institute in Cracow

    Chef Mark and his staff at The Culinary Institute in Cracow offer classes in everything from peasant food to gourmet cuisine, tailoring them to the individual's needs, in Polish, English, and other languages.