Tatar Polish food (befsztyk tatarski) was one of the things I was dying to try when I was a kid growing up in Poland. Mom and dad refused to give me raw meat with raw egg yolks so I needed to wait for a long time until I could eat Polish tatar.
When I finally did, I fell in love immediately. I am now a vegetarian and tartare is the only thing I miss. Keep on reading to discover my favorite Polish tatar recipe, tips for serving and more!
Basic Facts About Polish Tatar
1. It’s made of raw beef and egg yolks mixed with various add-ons.
2. Traditionally, Polish Steak Tatar is being served in winter only.
Nowadays, it’s easy to get in restaurants all year round. Why it was a winter dish in the past? Mainly because of the temperature. With no fridges available, it was very likely that food is spoiled.
The consequences of eating spoiled steak tartare can be really serious, from the food poison to salmonella infection.
3. Many Poles believe that you should drink vodka when you eat Tatar.
It is supposed to protect you from getting sick.
I am not sure whether there is any scientific proof for that but I’ve heard many stories from my parents and grandparents about miraculous properties of vodka.
Back in communist times, when there was no food to buy at stores, people needed to organize weddings by themselves. Of course, Poles love drinking vodka, so it was served on all the parties.
With one exception! In Poland, August is celebrated as Virgin Mary’s month and many Poles decide to stop drinking any alcohol for 31 days.
My mom told me that her friends organized the wedding in August when it was really hot outside. They served tartare and no vodka. All of the guests got sick except for the few fellows who sneaked out their own vodka and drank anyway.
The story is real, however, in the 21st century, it’s very unlikely that the Polish tartare you make at home or get in the restaurant will be spoiled.
4. Polish Steak Tartare tastes best when served with bread or toasts.
How To Choose The Right Meat For Polish Tartare Steak?
First of all- you can make Polish tartare from beef only. Pork, chicken, or any other meat won’t work.
It’s possible to make fish (herring, salmon) or veggie (beetroot, avocado) tartare as well.
How to choose the right beef for tartare?
It needs to have a vivid, blood-red color. Yellowish color means that the meat is old.
Traditional Polish Tatar Recipe
- 10 ounces of fresh, high-quality beef
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 onion
- 2 large fermented cucumbers (ogorek kiszony)
- 5 large marinated mushrooms (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of pickled capers (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- 1 tablespoon of oil or olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Wash in water, then finely chop or grind the beef.
- Wash eggs with water or blanch them to make sure there is no salmonella.
- Separate yolks from the whites and put them to the bowl with meat.
- Finely chop onions, ogorek kiszony, and mushrooms.
- Put all the ingredients to the bowl and mix together.
Blanching An Egg
To blanch an egg, put it on the tablespoon into the cup with boiling hot water. Wait for 10 seconds and take it out.
If you want the Polish Tatar to look prettier, you can serve all the ingredients separately (like on the photo above) and let your guests mix the tartare by themselves.