"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Frenchman in a nicely cut suit will add sophistication to any experience. We see that truth firsthand whenever Gimlet restaurant manager Samy Mir-Beghin prepares steak tartare tableside." – Andrew McConnell.

“Samy studied the technique of tableside gueridon service in France,” writes Andrew McConnell. “He now has created his own version and executes steak tartare tableside at Gimlet. The style and flair he brings to the process is very much France’s loss and our gain. Samy elevates the process of emulsifying egg yolk with Dijon mustard and olive oil, the timing of the mixing of the beef (at least two minutes to develop the right texture), and the meticulous shaping with a stainless-steel ring, into a realm somewhere between alchemy and performance art.

“Like all good art, Gimlet’s steak tartare is limited edition. We serve our tableside tartare at lunchtime on weekdays only, with a set number of portions per day – our contribution to the CBD hustle and bustle. We serve it with fries, slices of grilled baguette and a vinaigrette-dressed butter lettuce salad, so it’s the perfect classic weekday power lunch dish, really. But it’s also brilliant to serve your guests at a dinner party, particularly if you want to add a little theatre.

“Our head chef at Gimlet, Colin Mainds, is also a fan of the tableside tartare and, with some input from us, he and Samy came up with the right balance of texture and flavour. Most of our ingredients are stalwarts of classic steak tartare but we believe the flavours should be big and bold, so we don’t hold back on Tabasco, cornichons, capers, Worcestershire or chives (because, really, there can never be too many chives). We do add a few drops of lemon juice to bring a subtle flash of acidity to the mix and top the meat with a couple of excellent anchovies but, those few modifications aside, we stick to the script.

“Obviously we pay strict attention to the quality of the beef. With steak tartare, the texture of the meat is important, so all our steak tartare is hand cut (grinding or mincing makes it too paste-like). We use rump cap or flank because it has much better texture than something like eye fillet. As an added bonus, it also has more flavour than eye fillet.

“Please try this at home. And for some pointers on how to do tartare with style and flair, we’ll let Samy show you how it’s done.”

Serves 2
200g beef rump or striploin
6 cornichons
A small handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed
1 small golden shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
50ml light olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste
2 anchovy fillets
Chives, finely chopped, to serve

To serve
Sliced baguette
French fries


  1. Dice the rump into 3mm pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Set aside in the fridge.
  2. Finely dice the cornichons, parsley, capers and shallot (this may seem torturous but the more uniform the size of the dice, the more refined the mouthfeel of the tartare).
  3. Combine the mustard, egg yolk and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Using a small whisk, vigorously whisk while drizzling the oil into the bowl to emulsify.
  4. Add the beef and stir vigorously with a spoon to combine. Continue to beat for 2 minutes to develop the texture.
  5. Add cornichon, parsley, capers and shallot and mix to combine. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, black pepper, tomato sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco. Place a stainless-steel ring onto a serving plate and spoon in the tartare mixture, spreading it evenly. Carefully remove the stainless-steel ring, then garnish with the finely chopped chives and lay the anchovies on top. Serve with sliced baguette and French fries.

Meatsmith by Andrew McConnell and Troy Wheeler (RRP $60, Hardie Grant Books) is out now and available to purchase online or in-store.