Raw Beef with Ginger and Cardomom

Raw Beef with Ginger and Cardomom

For this particular raw beef treatment, we look to East Africa, one of many places where raw meat in some form is used as an appetizer. To give the dish an East African flavor, we punch up the raw beef with lemon, ginger, and cardamom. I've given two ways to prepare this recipe. The first is the classic tartare/hamburger method, and the second resembles the Italian method for carpaccio, in which the meat is frozen to facilitate very thin slicing. I like to use top round steak for this dish because it is so lean, has good flavor, and is much more economical than sirloin or fillet, which is usually called for in this type of dish. Serves 6 to 8 as appetizer.

1 pound very lean top round, with all fat trimmed off
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh red or green chile pepper of your choice
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon crushed cardamom pods

Tartare Method:

1. Using your sharpest knife, cut the top round into very small pieces, then chop it with that same sharp knife until it resembles coarse hamburger.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients.

3. Add the chopped beef and mix together well. Chill and serve on top of Grilled Chile-Garlic Toast.

Carpaccio Method:

For those who think ahead and don't like to chop a lot or who don't have a really sharp knife.

1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the steak.

2. Coat steak with the mixture and work it in well with your hands.

3. Place the steak on a double sheet of plastic wrap, wrap very tightly, and freeze for at least 8 hours.

4. Remove the steak from the freezer, unwrap, and slice paper thin.

From: Big Flavors of the Hot Sun by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
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