When Chef Matt Mytro set his sights on preparing a traditional tartare dish for a special all-beef dinner at his friends’ restaurant, Local Sol, the end product was sure to be something special.
Mytro has crafted a reputation by doing things a little out of the ordinary. Ok, a LOT out of the ordinary. Throughout his career, the Cleveland-based culinarian has routinely pushed the bounds of what’s perceived as normal. From his former chef apparel company Stove Monkeys to flavor-tripping events centered on African “miracle” berries to his nouveau Italian restaurant on the city’s east side — Flour, Mytro seeks to give expectant guests the unexpected. His tartare recipe, included.
What is tartare?
Traditionally, it’s a mixture of raw beef — typically tenderloin — combined with some type of onion and other flavorings, served on a cracker or crisp. Many restaurants serve their own versions of tartare and bless them for it, because it can be life-changing. Mytro’s take on tartare? Magical.
Behold! Beef tartare on a beef crisp.
So what exactly is it you’re looking at, above? Well, for starters — finely chopped raw tenderloin that’s been sous-vide in thyme oil. Then, it’s mixed with shallots, cornichons, lemon juice, and whole grain mustard. But next is where Mytro truly leaves his mark.
In case you’re new to sous-vide: it’s French, meaning under vacuum. Chefs seal food — in this case, beef — in plastic bags. It’s then put in a water bath for slow cooking in controlled temperatures. The goal? Cook evenly and retain lots of moisture.
The crisp on which the raw beef mixture rests is actually beef tendon that’s been sous-vide. After the sous-vide process, he freezes the tendon. It’s then sliced thin, dehydrated, then deep-fried to reveal its crisp, puffy texture. Mytro tosses his crisps in Nori salt and tops them with a traditional tartare, and voila — a beef-on-beef bite that’ll blow your mind.