This is the steak tartare we had for lunch, one Sunday in February, with a couple of brave friends:
This led me to wonder about the origin of the word "tartare", which is used in "steak tartare" and "tartare sauce". What is the link between raw steak and mayonnaise? About steak tartare, there is a lovely story about Mongols (c. 1209) carrying flat patties of lamb or mutton under their saddle to tenderize the meat, which was eaten raw. As the Mongols invaded Moscow, this way of eating raw meat was given their name (they were known as the Tartars).
However, this appears to be untrue. This is what the San Diego Union Tribune tells us:
The custom of combining raw meat with raw egg, vinegar, capers, pickles and other seasonings originated in Germany, most likely in the city of Hamburg. Eventually the dish was introduced into the United States. Some time in the late 19th century, it came to be called steak tartare. Also at that time, some clever cook took the ingredients in the dish, except the raw meat and egg, and combined them with mayonnaise.
Lunch was lovely, but I do prefer my steak cooked.