The Truth About Steak Tartare

James Baigrie

Today, health concerns have made steak tartare a forbidden pleasure. Young children, the immune-compromised, and the elderly shouldn't eat raw eggs or raw meat—but as for the rest of us, we take our chances sometimes. (It's smart to buy beef from a reputable butcher and to chop it yourself, potentially avoiding butchers' meat grinders that may be cross-contaminated with chicken or pork.)

At Chez Denise in Paris, Steak Tartare arrives at the table already mixed, but we also love the drama of mixing our own: Arrange some finely chopped raw beef on a buttered square of dense black bread, sprinkle it with coarse salt and cracked black pepper, then lay some rings of purple onion on top. Add a few plump, briny capers, an anchovy filet or two, and chopped parsley. Crown this jewel with a raw egg yolk nestled in half an eggshell. Then tip the yolk out of its shell and watch it ooze, slice through the onion-topped beef, and sop up the yolk with the bread—worth the risk!