Polish Steak Tartare (Befszytk Tatarski)

Steak tartare

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  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
346 Calories
18g Fat
10g Carbs
34g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 346
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 369mg 123%
Sodium 605mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 34g
Calcium 82mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Polish steak tartare or befsztyk tatarski ( BEFF-shtick tah-TAHRR-skee) is from chef Marek (Mark) Widomski, founder and director of The Culinary Institute in Cracow, Poland.

Since the meat and egg in this dish are eaten raw, use the most impeccable beef tenderloin you can find from a butcher you trust, and pasteurized eggs.

Freeze the leftover egg whites from this recipe and use them in leftover egg white recipes.


  • 1 pound good-quality beef tenderloin (rinsed, sinew removed and coarsely ground or finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Polish grainy mustard (or other spicy brown mustard)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: 1 large pasteurized egg yolk
  • Garnish: 1 medium onion (yellow or red, finely chopped)
  • Garnish: 2 small dill pickles (finely chopped)
  • Garnish: 3 tablespoon capers
  • Optional: chopped anchovies (to taste)
  • Garnish: 6 slices bread for toast points

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, combine ground or finely chopped beef tenderloin, Polish mustard or other spicy brown mustard, olive oil, pasteurized egg yolk, finely chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Form it into a mound and place on a serving plate.

  2. Make a slight indentation in the center of the tartare and garnish by placing a pasteurized egg yolk in it. Surround the tartare with finely chopped onion, finely chopped dill pickles, capers, and optional chopped anchovies. Serve immediately. It is customary to mix all the ingredients together at the table and serve with toast points.

Origins of Steak Tartare

The jury is still out on this one, but it's believed steak tartare (also known as beef tartare) originated in the Baltic provinces of Russia where, in medieval times, the Tatars shredded red meat with a knife and ate it raw while on horseback to avoid stopping to cook meals. 

Others believe the dish was originally prepared in French restaurants near the beginning of the 20th century and was known as steak à l'Americaine, which translates as American steak.

What remains factual is that the dish is popular throughout Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, if not worldwide in one guise or another. In Belgium, it is served with fries and, in Denmark and Germany, it is often served on rye bread. Italians call their version of this dish carne cruda. When the tenderloin is thinly sliced and not ground, it is known as Italian carpaccio.

More about the Culinary Institute in Cracow

Chef Mark and his staff at The Culinary Institute in Cracow offer classes in everything from Polish peasant food to gourmet Polish cuisine, tailoring them to the individual's needs, in Polish, English, and other languages.