With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought a handful of seasonal and thematic recipes would be a fun way to lead up to this celebration of love. One of my favorite appetizers is a classic beef tartare, and I love that the Bon Appétit recipe I utilized below incorporates cherry peppers for an added punch of flavor. As always, adjusting the balance of ingredients is important based on personal preference, and I chose to add one and a half times the recommended capers and peppers. A perfect cut of beef truly makes this dish, and the butcher at my local Gelson's provided me with a gorgeously lean beef tenderloin that was melt-in-your-mouth tender.
1 pound best-quality beef tenderloin*
3 tablespoons chopped drained capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped cherry pepper or red jalapeño
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot, rinsed in cold water
4 best-quality large egg yolks (I chose to purchase pasteurized eggs for this dish)
Freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard, cornichons, and toasted country-style bread (for serving)
Chill beef in freezer 15 minutes; cut into ¼" pieces. Mix beef, capers, parsley, oil, cherry pepper, and shallot in a chilled large bowl; season with salt.
Divide tartare among chilled plates and top with egg yolks; season with salt and black pepper. Serve with mustard, cornichons, and toast.
*Raw egg and beef are not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems.