Fusion tartar

A version of this post is available in Swedish at Magnus Reuterdahls vinblogg.

Ever felt like a thief in the night? Ever felt like being caught with your fingers in the cookie jar? Ever tried to create a cooking recipie?

I write about wine, I love food, I love to cook but I don’t see myself as a food creator, normally. However, it is interesting to challenge yourself. Last year I was asked to participate in an international recipe challenge, arranged by Chilean winery Cono Sur . I did not win. If I had you would have known! Even without the glory it was an interesting experience.

Going outside your comfort zone, is a way nerve wrecking. Starting to ponder on different food, combinations of ingredients you’ll quickly start to realize this must have been done before. Where have I tasted this before or heard about it. Is this really original? You’ll start second guessing yourself feeling self-doubt. It’s difficult to try something new, to put your chin out, waiting for the verdict.

swedishchef460_92281944As I said I didn’t win last year, but I was kind of pleased with the recipe. It tasted good, was fresh and at least I had conjured it up myself in one way or another (read about that here). My cooking style is normally take a recipe, get inspired and embellish. If it is a classic dish I normally do it by the book the first time and embellish the next. This year around I’ve tried to make it slightly easier, fewer ingredients, more stringent.

I did what I usually do, I took something I like and I embellished! I love steak tartare, I make it quite often and I’ve done several versions of it. One version that I love is a Piedmont version of the dish called Carne cruda, where you let the meat “cook” in lemon and lime juice. Acids like lemon juice, lime juice break down raw meat and this gives a very tender steak tartare with a lovely freshness. Another version I’ve made is a Korean style tartare called Yokhoe (I’ve written about it in Swedish here). This one hade lovely flavors of sesame seeds, ginger and soy. In Sweden we normally serve a steak tartar with horseradish, egg yolk, Dijon mustard, red onion and capers. I also love fresh cilantro.

From this I had a basic idea of fusing Piedmont, Korea and Sweden into one steak tartar – my way.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
You cunt, I´m not a queer
I´ll state my case, of which I´m certain
I´ve lived a life that´s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way (Sid Vicious)

Steak Tartare – My Way (The recipe is for 2-3 main dishes, or 4-6 starters)

  • 250 grams of fillet of beef (finely chopped or grated)
  • 250 grams veal fillet alternatively well hung beef (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1/3 pot fresh coriander (finely chopped), save a few leaves for garnish
  • The juice of one lemon
  • The juice of one lime
  • 1 clove garlic (pressed)
  • the zest from of half a lemon
  • ca 1 tbsp. of olive oil (with flavour of grass)
  • a pinch of dried and grounded Korean chilli (sweeter than regular chili).

Steak tartar in the making

Sauce and garnish

  • 4 tbsp. premium light soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 5 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 large shallots (finely chopped)
  • pickled capers, 2-4 tablespoons per person
  • one egg yolk per person


Chop (with a knife) or grate the meat finely. Place the meat in a bowl, fold in the cilantro, squeeze down a clove of garlic, the juice of a lemon and a lime adn olive oil. Stir and let it stand for about 45 minutes to an hour. The color of the meat will become slightly pink.

Brown the sesame seeds, stir them in soy and red wine vinegar. Finely chop the onion. Let capers drain.

Shape the tartare, be sure to squeeze the juice out of them, they will contain quite a lot of fluid. Add one egg yolk on top of the tartare, sprinkle with a little Korean chili, lemon zest and some cilantro leaves. Serve with onion and capers, pour a tablespoon of soy sauce over the tartare.

That’s all – dinner’s served!

Steak tartare My way

Ah well not all. We’ll some wine to this as well. It’s the idea when a winery is behind a competition – isn’t it. We have two wines to choose from, Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay or Cono Sur Organic Cab Carmener. I choose the Chardonnay. It is an everyday wine. It’s fruity with hints of pear, green apple and citrus fruits. My idea was that the meat soften by the acidty, the lemon flavors, the cilantro, the hint of heat from the chili would work togheter with saltyness and umami notes from the asian sauce and the capers would work with the fruitiness of the wine and it does, it really does.


For future competition I would recommend that Cono Sur let us pick a little more freely from thier portfolio. There are some wines there that are really nice and more than just good everyday wines, these wines will enhance the food even more. Therefore, I put an additional recommendation to this, Cono Sur 20 Barrels Chardonnay which would be a wine that really match this dish.

The contest is international with competitors from Canada, Chile, Ireland, Japan, Sweden and USA, read more about it and how to enter here.


Magnus Reuterdahl


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