There are unlimited versions of “tartare” out there from nearly all parts of the world. The common denominator in them all is this: Raw finely chopped red meat, garnished with bold-flavored ingredients such as onion, capers, chiles and fresh herbs. All bound by the addition of a fat such as a raw egg yolk, mayonnaise or a virgin oil and then balanced with added acidity via citrus, worcestershire and vinegar.
On a recent trip to Idaho, my buddy Ryan Callaghan (“Ol' Cal") leaned into me for some culinary advice and described some elk meat he had from a rank old bull that simply wouldn’t lose its chewiness. I suggested we chop it up into a tartar! I hope you dig this version we whipped up at 8,000 ft in a backcountry cabin as much as we did.
Serves: 8-10 as an appetizer
1 LB elk, eye of round - diced (cutting meat that is partially frozen will make this very easy and clean)
1 shallot - finely chopped
6 green olives - finely chopped
1/4 cup - parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons - Montana Mex Avocado oil
1/2 tsp - Montana Mex jalapeño seasoning
1/2 tsp - Montana Mex mild Chile seasoning
1/4 tsp - sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until evenly distributed. Squeeze Lemon and grate zest into the mixture and again mix well. Check the tartare for taste and adjust according to your preference. Add another pinch of jalapeño seasoning for a kick or more salt or lemon as you’d like!
I love this dish with tortilla chips and topped with the Poblano & Peach salsa. Enjoy! It’s hard to imagine this tasty meal not being consumed on the spot. However, Callaghan reported back that this tartare recipe made a remarkable burger patty the following day!
Poblano peach salsa:
1 poblano pepper - roasted, skinned, seeded and chopped
1/2 a peach - chopped (if outside of peach season I will use frozen peaches)
A few sprigs of cilantro - chopped
1/2 teaspoon of Montana Mex jalapeño seasoning
1/2 teaspoon - Montana Mex mild Chile seasoning
Pinch of sea salt
Squeeze of lime
Stir all ingredients until well mixed.