This reputation for coarseness and ferocity underlies both “steak tartare” (raw chopped beef served with onion and a raw egg) and “tartar sauce” (mayonnaise mixed with chopped pickles, onions, etc., and served with fish). Various stories purport to explain steak tartare as the descendant of the diet of the Tartars, who were supposedly too busy pillaging to cook their meat. But the simpler explanation is that the French, who named the dish, were probably just indulging in a little hyperbole to give what is, after all, just raw hamburger an “edge.” The French also invented tartar sauce, and that name probably reflects both its coarse texture and the near-primitive simplicity of the recipe.

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2 comments on this post.
  1. Louise Hope:

    >> and spritz this stuff into his maw <<

    All the way into his stomach? Gosh.

  2. J. Pastor:

    The tribes to which the questioner referred were not Tartars, but Tatars, and thus are irrelevant to this discussion. Google “Tartars” and see what happens. And if they did, in fact, eat raw meat, that is again unrelated to Steak Tartare (which would have been steak Tatare if they’d had anything to do with it).

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