Steak Tartar

Steak Tartar
El Celler de Can Roca
Chef: Joan Roca
Country: Spain
City: 17007 Girona
Address: Ctra. Talaia, 40
(+34) 972222157

This year, different parts of this Guide are referring to the level of perfection reached by Joan Roca’s cookery. Values as personality, reflection, elegance, erudition or ideal use of techniques to build a cookery with an own identity are being praised. Well now, the aesthetic concepts also deserve to be extolled. In fact, we could choose different dishes from the last batch of the Roca brothers which are worthy of being highlighted as the most attractive of the year, like the prawn in sand, the char-grilled sole with Mediterranean flavors, the oyster … In this case, we personally incline toward this steak tartare, which aesthetically speaks for itself.
Using concepts that are as old as the human being (raw meat) on the one hand and appealing to the most modern techniques like nitrogen on the other, Joan Roca edifies a simply and elegantly wonderful dish: a piece of raw meat seasoned with touches of caper, cucumber, onion, mustard, Tabasco, Perrins sauce, salt and pepper. All the accompaniments are then laid on it: little balls of mustard ice cream, lemon and caper jam, spiced tomato compote, a sphere of sherry, notes of Soyot sauce and potatoes soufflé, which are presented in different parts of the plate, seasoned with spring onion butter, Sechuan pepper, cumin and coriander, and De La Vera paprika. The whole is finally decorated with some mustard leaves.

The Recipe

For the tartare:
110 g sirloin steak
10 g capers
10 g pickled cucumbers
5 g onion
Mustard mayonnaise
Perrins sauce
Salt and pepper

Grind the meat with a knife and season with the rest of ingredients. Add salt and pepper and leave aside.

For the mustard ice cream:
500 g cream
100 g egg yolks
2 g salt
50 g old mustard
3 gelatin leaves

Heat the cream until boiled, pour the half on the yolks, previously placed into a bowl, without stopping removing. Pour the mixture back into the pan together with the other half of cream and heat until 85ºC while removing. Once this temperature has been reached, add the gelatin (previously soaked), the salt and the mustard. Allow to cool.
Once room temperature is reached, place into a dispenser bottle and let fall some drops on a container with nitrogen in order to make little balls of mustard. Strain and set aside into a covered bowl in the freezer at -18ºC.

For the lemon and caper jam:
100 g lemon
100 g sugar
50 g pickled capers

Cut the lemon in brunoise, pour in a pan with the sugar and the grinded capers. Cook until it gets to a jam texture.

For the spiced tomato compote:
300 g tomato puree
40 g sugar
20 g vinegar
1 g paprika
Perrins sauce

Cook the sugar in a pan until obtaining a dry caramel. Once brown, interrupt the cooking with the vinegar, add the tomato puree and season with the other ingredients. Let reduce until obtaining a compote texture.

For the sphere of sherry:
200 g sherry
1,5 g Calcic
2 g Xanthan

500 g water
8 g alginate


For the alginate bath: mix the water and the alginate with a mixer and set aside.
For the sphere, mix the wine with the Calcic and the xanthan using a mixer and vacuum-pack in order to remove the excess air and to obtain a translucent result. Let fall some spoonfuls of this preparation on the alginate bath, let them interact for a few minutes and take the sphere away with a strainer. Immerse into water for a wash, remove and coat in sugar for 3 hours so that the sugar absorbs part of the water and the sphere looks like a grape. Set aside.


For the Foyot sauce
200 g clarified butter
100 g egg yolks
10 g vinegar and tarragon reduction
10 g reduced beef broth

Cook the egg yolks in a bain-marie at 60º C in a bowl, add a spoonful of water and whip. Without stopping whipping, let fall a trickle of butter until obtaining a stable mixture. In the end, add the vinegar and the beef broth. Keep warm into the bain-marie.


For the potatoes soufflé:

2 ripe potatoes
Olive oil
Mixed cumin and coriander
De La Vera paprika
Sechuan pepper
Spring onion butter

Peel the potatoes, cut them into a rectangle, cut into 3 mm slices and let dry.
Poach into oil at 130ºC stirring the oil in circles with a skimmer. Remove once tender. Just before serving, immerse into oil at 180ºC stirring the oil in order to make the slices move and to brown them uniformly.
Remove and dry on kitchen paper.
For every portion of tartare, season 4 potatoes soufflé with each different spice and with the spring onion butter.

Finishing and garnishing:

Place a rectangle with steak tartare in the middle of the plate, cover with the balls of mustard ice cream and then, from the bottom to the top (from the beginning to the end, just as it is going to be eaten, actually), place the béarnaise, one potato soufflé with a touch of spring onion butter, lemon and caper jam, one potato with Sechuan pepper, spicy tomato compote, one potato with cumin and coriander, one potato with De La Vera paprika, and the sherry sphere. Crown with some mustard leaves.