Steak Tartare with Soft-Boiled Egg and Pickled Watermelon Rind

Photo by Kieran Wagner

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2 servings

    For the tartare:
  • 4 ounces skirt steak
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chopped shallot
  • ½ teaspoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Black breadcrumbs (recipe follows)
  • Soft-boiled eggs (recipe follows)
  • Pickled watermelon rinds (recipe follows)
  • or pickles of choice
  • For the black breadcrumbs:
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 quarts bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons squid ink,2 tablespoons salt
  • For the soft-boiled eggs:
  • 2 eggs
  • at room temperature
  • For the pickled watermelon rind:
  • Leftover watermelon rind
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes

To make the tartare: 

  1. Grind or finely hand-chop steak and add to a mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, taste, and season with salt and pepper.

To make the black breadcrumbs:

  1.  In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, bloom yeast in water for about 15 minutes. Add flour and squid ink. Mix lightly to incorporate flour. Let sit for 20 minutes as flour hydrates. Add salt and mix for 2 minutes to incorporate salt. Turn dough into a metal bowl and leave at room temperature to rise for 4 hours. When dough has doubled in size, punch it down, and turn it over. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Divide dough and fold each half into itself, creating a round loaf. Place seam side down on baking tray. Bake for roughly 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes for doneness. Once bread has cooled, cut it into cubes and pulse in a food processor. (Chef note: Other great uses for this bread include black croutons or a snack, smeared with high-quality ricotta and drizzled with olive oil.)

Soft-boiled eggs: a tutorial

Keep in mind that you’ll probably need more eggs than you intend to use, as some might break on you. If you need two, you should probably cook four. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. While water is heating, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Place eggs in boiling water, one at a time, using a slotted spoon or a spider. Cook for 5 minutes and 10 seconds, then immediately plunge into ice bath. Once eggs cooled, carefully peel them. Store in a bowl submerged in water so they don’t rest on themselves.

To make the pickled watermelon rind:

This is a great way to use up scraps. Buy a watermelon, eat it, and enjoy it. Save rinds in the biggest pieces possible. Depending on how much you have to pickle, you may need a little more brine, or a little less. If you don’t have watermelon rinds, use this basic recipe to pickle something else.

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outer green parts of the rind, so only white rind remains. Cut into 2-3-inch strips, trimming to make them roughly uniform (ideal for even cooking and pickling time). Place rind in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off immediately.
  2. While water comes to a boil, mix all brine ingredients together.
  3. Pour off all the water, cover rinds with pickle brine, and bring to a boil once more. Once boiling, turn off and allow to cool. Store pickles in a plastic container covered in the brine for up to a month.


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