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Beef Tartare

Beef tartare is an exercise in contrasts that calls for crunch, salt, fat, acid and heat. Use fish sauce to intensify the sweetness and umami of the beef, hot sauce to bring a touch of sourness, egg yolk for fattiness, and capers and shallots for bite and perfume.

Mat Lindsay has taken the beef tartare off the menu at Ester, his inner-suburban Sydney restaurant, and people are not happy. “I need to keep developing new ideas,” says Lindsay. “They should make it at home instead.”

Included in his first cookbook, Ester, Mat's beef tartare isn’t just a recipe, but a template of what has become a modern classic – punchy, fresh and meaty.


  • 200g beef rump, trimmed of all silver skin, fat and sinew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon fermented hot sauce, e.g. sriracha

  • 1 tablespoon finely diced shallots

  • 1 teaspoon small salted capers, rinsed of salt

  • 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce

  • sea salt

  • black pepper

  • 1 egg yolk


  • Using a sharp knife, cut the rump into 3mm dice and place in a chilled bowl set over another bowl filled with ice; you want to keep the meat as cold as possible.

  • Coat the meat with the olive oil first, then mix in the hot sauce, beating a little vigorously with a fork for a minute to get the meat sticking to itself a bit.

  • Add the shallots and capers, season with the fish sauce, a pinch of flaky sea salt and a healthy grind of black pepper. Gently fold in the egg yolk to add richness and shine.

  • Pile the mixture onto a shallow bowl or plate and serve with hot sourdough toast, preferably grilled over coals and buttered from edge to edge.

Mat Lindsay's tips to nailing beef tartare

  • Use a lean cut of the best quality meat you can find. Beef tartare is traditionally made with tenderloin, but because the fibres of the meat are finely chopped, I like to use rump; it has a firmer texture and more beefiness to it.

  • Use the sharpest knife possible.

  • Don’t get too heavy-handed with the garnishes, and don’t overdress it with too much olive oil or fish sauce, otherwise it will feel wet.

  • Serve with potato chips or on hot grilled sourdough toast. Don’t let the kids miss out – just form the tartare into burger patties and pan-fry them.

Serves 4 as a snack, 2 as a starter

Guest post by Mat Lindsay, Ester


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