Mediterranean Beef Tartare with Pickled Vidalia Onion

By: Hannah Lee Leidy

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Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon salted Italian capers
  • 1 (8-ounce) Pine Street Market filet mignon
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon diced Castelvetrano olives
  • 2 teaspoons finely diced preserved lemon peel (or fresh lemon zest)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Cooper Provisions Garlicky Smoked Mediterranean Sea Salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mint oil (recipe follows)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Focaccia bread, sliced into 8 (½ -inch thick) slices
  • 4 quail eggs
  • ¼ cup pickled Vidalia onion (recipe follows)
  1. Rinse capers under running water, then transfer to a bowl of cold water; soak for 20 minutes.  Drain water and soak again for 20 minutes, repeat 1 more time. Drain and pat capers dry with a paper towel.  Roughly chop capers and set aside.
  2. Fill a stainless-steel mixing bowl half way with ice; place a second stainless-steel bowl on top of the ice. (This will keep the tartare chilled while you prepare the dish.) 
  3. Finely mince filet mignon, being careful not to over over-mince, which makes the texture gummy. Transfer filet to mixing bowl and add chopped capers, feta, olives, lemon, parsley, 1 teaspoon sea salt, black pepper, and mint oil. Mix well with a spoon. Transfer to refrigerator to chill. 
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour olive oil into a plate or shallow dish and dip both sides of focaccia slices in oil. Place bread on a sheet pan and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or util outsides are crisp, but centers are still soft.
  5. Using a ring mold, evenly distribute the tartare onto 4 plates, packing the tartare down with the back of a spoon until a well is created in the center. Carefully crack a quail egg and place into the well of each pile of tartare. Sprinkle the yolk with remaining sea salt, then top each with 1 tablespoon of pickled onion. Serve with focaccia bread.

Pickled Vidalia Onion

1 medium Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup Banyuls or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Placed sliced onions in a bowl or mason jar.  In a small, nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients with 1 cup water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour hot pickling liquid over Vidalia onions. Let sit for 4 hours or up to 24 hours before using. 

Mint Oil

4 sprigs of Mint (about 30 leaves)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wash and thoroughly dry mint. Tear leaves into small pieces. Heat oil over medium heat until it just barely begins to radiate heat.  Add mint, remove from heat, and steep for about 10 minutes. Strain oil and reserve.

Alex Friedman 

Bistro Off Broad, Winder, Georgia

Bistro Off Broad executive chef Alex Friedman is an award-winning chef and former contestant on Chopped. A graduate of Johnson & Wales Culinary University, Friedman started his career at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, during which time he also competed in, and took first place in the region, at the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition. Friedman went on to work at restaurants in Roswell and Atlanta, Georgia, including the acclaimed Anis Café and Bistro and P’cheen. At Bistro Off Broad in historic downtown Winder, Georgia, Friedman brings a creative and honest approach to traditional French and contemporary American cuisine, showcasing farm-to-table dishes, simple elegance, and local flavors.  

Pine Street Market

Pine Street Market in Avondale Estates, Georgia, is a craft butcher shop committed to European-style whole-animal butchery. That means honoring the animal by insisting on humane farm practices and utilizing every part of the animal by creating a full line of meats and craft food products. For more,

Vidalia Onions 

Vidalia onions are the state vegetable of Georgia. Known for their unique sweetness, they are a favorite of the nation’s top chefs. Vidalia onions can only be grown in a select number of counties, where the soil and climate are ideal. The season is short, so get them while you can. For more, visit

  • From Alex Friedman, Bistro Off Broad, Winder, Georgia

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