Steak Tartare Burgers

The inspiration for this fully cooked burger is steak tartare (or in Switzerland, Filet Am√©ricain), the classic raw dish of ground beef, onion, garlic, capers and other seasonings (originally with the now-banned raw egg). Legend has it that this dish originated with the Tartars, a Nomadic tribe who didn’t have time to cook their meat. In order to stay true, serve these burgers on toast rather than on buns.

Steak Tartare Burgers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 burgers
  • 1½ to 1¾ pounds ground chuck
  • 1 small red onion, halved, and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs, including parsley, cilantro, and basil
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place beef, onion, garlic, herbs, capers, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Tabasco, lemon juice, and zest in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, gently mix until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  2. Place the mixture on a work surface and divide into 4 balls of equal size. Form each into a patty about ¾ to 1 inch thick, tossing it back and forth between your hands. To ensure more even cooking, make a ½-inch indentation with your thumb in the center of the burger. Handle the patties as little as possible; do not work more than necessary.
  3. Prepare the grill to medium-high. When the coals are glowing red, after 15-20 minutes, cover with the grate.
  4. After 5 minutes, use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the grate. Brush the grate with oil.
  5. When the coals are covered with pale gray ash and you can leave your hand 5 inches above the fire for 2 to 3 second, the coals are ready.
  6. Sprinkle both sides of the burgers with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the burgers on the grate and grill until well seared on both sides, about 5 minutes for medium rare or 6 minutes for medium.
  8. Transfer to toasted bread or a serving platter and serve immediately.
  9. ALTERNATIVELY, place a cast iron skillet over high heat and when it is hot but not smoking add the burgers to the dry pan.
  10. Cook until well seared on both sides, 8 to10 minutes for medium rare or 10-12 minutes for medium.