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Beef tartare

Beef taretar

Generally speaking the beef we get at our local butchers is scrupulously clean. When buying beef for Beef Tartare, do not skimp on quality and let your butcher know what you're doing. Tell him you would prefer a piece cut from the middle of a section, which will have been kept free from any conceivable surface contamination. Specify a lean cut, since you do not want a lot of raw fat dominating. A good butcher will clean his meat grinder to insure against cross-contamination. All this adds up to a very clean, healthy cut of meat.

Most recipes call for tenderloin (the home of filet mignon) which is tender and fat free... but also lacking in flavor. A better choice might be top round or sirloin. Jerry recommends cutting your beef into a small 1/4" dice rather than grinding it. Here is his recipe for a classic version of the dish.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.