There's something special about classic beef tartare done right. I'm kind of a sucker for tartare when I'm at a restaurant that I know has good meat and will prepare it properly. Usually, I'm with someone else and we'll share it in addition to a few salads or other things to help balance out the meal. BUT, in the interest of plant-forward innovation, I thought I'd try to replicate tartare using beets instead of beef and making the whole dish entirely from plant-based ingredients. Crazy? Maybe.
There were some challenges with mimicking the luscious quality of the raw beef, but the combination of miso and olive oil comes pretty close and the miso has the additional bonus of providing umami flavor that you get from meat in the beef version (double score!) If you do eat meat, another great option is to make a tartare with both beef and beet (I've done a 1:1 ratio and it was very successful) to keep some of the beef flavor and texture, but still make your tartare more plant-forward. Other classic ingredients are added to this recipe such as shallots, capers, parsley, and Dijon mustard, but you can play around with these as you like!
Traditionally, beef tartare is served with a runny egg yolk on top that is mixed in to the cubed steak before eating. You could top this with a real egg yolk and it would be delicious, but I was in an experimental mood and decided to try out making a faux egg from chickpea flour, flax, miso, water, and tumeric. The flax, chickpea, and water provide texture while the miso flavor, and the turmeric color. It's pretty fun, but, you know, not a real egg yolk. In my opinion, nothing you can make in a home kitchen comes close to an egg if you want all of the egg-like properties. Using flax and other substitutions works great for many baking or binding applications, but if you're looking for a runny egg yolk there's nothing like the real thing...eggs are just magical. However, you can serve this with or without an egg/faux egg and it's still delicious. Great appetizer for your vegan friends (or self) and can easily be gluten-free if served with GF crackers, endive, or the like. Recipe below serves 6 and can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days without diminishing (too much) in quality.
- 2 medium beets, about 6 ounces
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons white miso
- 1 tablespoon minced capers (I used California capers)
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced chives (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Squeeze of lemon juice or dash of red wine vinegar
- Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 egg yolk or faux egg, for serving - recipe below (optional)
- Baguette crisps (I used this recipe), crackers, cucumber, or endive, for serving
- Mince beet into fine cubes using knife and add to medium bowl.
- Mix in 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons miso, capers, shallot, 1.5 tablespoons parsley, chives (optional), mustard, and squeeze of lemon. Stir in salt/pepper to taste and more olive oil and/or miso to desired flavor and texture.
- Mound onto serving plate and top with egg yolk/faux egg yolk (optional). Sprinkle with salt and reserved parsley and serve with baguette crisps or crackers.
Faux egg yolk - makes 1 faux egg yolk (if using for above recipe, you may want to double the below to allow for creation of a larger "yolk" if needed)
- ½ tablespoon chickpea flour
- ½ tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼-½ teaspoon turmeric
- To prepare: Whisk all ingredients except turmeric then whisk in turmeric to create desired color.