How does one maintain one’s stamina for making love? The answer, Kerim Bey reveals to James Bond over lunch in Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar in From Russia, with Love (1957), is steak tartare, which Kerim apparently eats every day. While its supposed qualities can be disputed (readers may wish to test the veracity of Kerim’s claim), steak tartare is delicious and simple to prepare. In Kerim’s version of the dish, the usual gherkins and capers are replaced by peppers and chives. The raw egg yolk comes as standard.
- 1 beef fillet steak
- 1 tsp finely chopped red pepper
- 1 tsp finely chopped chives
- 1 tsp peeled and finely chopped shallot
- 1 egg yolk
- Black pepper
Mince the steak by hand: first slice the steak thinly, then chop across the slices. Turn the steak and chop again. Fold the edges into the centre of the steak and chop. Continue to chop after turning and folding the steak until it is reduced to a pile of short strands or grains. Fold in a pinch of black pepper.
Put the shallot, peppers and chives onto a plate. Build a neat hamburger-like pile (use a chef’s ring if available) of minced steak next to them. Make a small hollow in the top of the steak and carefully tip the egg yolk into it.
Traditionally, the ingredients are combined by the diner at the table. Break the yolk and fold it into the steak. Place the shallot, peppers and chives on top, then and fold those in. Serve with bread or French fries and a salad.
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