Under the Big Oak | Fulton

“Focusing on beverages and located in the main lobby, this common ground pays homage to the musically buzzed streets of Austin with live music, and the deep roots of the grand, old oak tree of Fulton, Texas. This is the new, iconic meeting place of Austin and the beating pulse of Fairmont. Fulton is a place to sip and swirl local wine, beer and spirits while enjoying relaxed dining with plates to share. Just tell your friends you’ll meet them ‘under the Big Oak’ at Fairmont Austin… They’ll know where to be.”

If you haven’t been there yet and don’t know why ‘under the Big Oak’ — go and find out! Make it a date night. We went for the SIP N’ SHUCK event with oysters and sparkling wine and (unexpectedly!) discovered their smoked steak tartar.

Fairmont Austin | Fulton | Smoked Steak Tartare
Fairmont Austin | Fulton | Smoked Steak Tartare

Smokey Flavor

I wanted to recreate it in my home kitchen with Cameron’s Stovetop Smoker. I didn’t know how the Fulton steak tartare got its smokey flavor, but since it’s barely there, I suspected they used a smoking gun and a relatively short period for the smoke to set. My experimental timing with Cameron’s smoker was a bullseye, and I liked my version even better! My beef tenderloin got the right amount of smokiness, and its internal temperature was a bit above the body temperature.

Steak tartare is to be made right before serving. Choose the best meat you can get, season it well, smoke, and mince it with a knife.

Sauce and Toppings

Fulton’s smoked steak tartar was served with a very balanced accompaniment of the sauce with a touch of horseradish. Crunchy and refreshing radish was the most noticeable among Tex-Mex themed toppings that were absolutely up to my taste.

Fairmont Austin | Fulton | Smoked Steak Tartare
Fairmont Austin | Fulton | Smoked Steak Tartare

With my first try at home, I added some other pickled vegetables. Though they made my plating more colorful and attractive, it was overwhelming for the delicate flavors of gently smoked tenderloin. I omitted pickles in my next versions, keeping the fresh cilantro and finely grated mild cheese.

Smoked steak tartare
Smoked steak tartare

An aioli with a hint of horseradish was a big step away from the traditional tartare sauce, but I liked it. I also tried and liked a very simple sauce made with fresh egg yolk mixed with 1/4 tsp of high-quality aged balsamic vinegar and salt — my friend mentioned trying with her steak tartare in Paris a few days ago.

Grilled slices of bread is another important element of the dish. Go for the best French country bread and make sure you get nice grill marks for the best flavor and texture.

Smoked Steak Tartare

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: beef, Cameron's stovetop smoker, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, meat, minced meat, recipe, smoked, steak
Servings: 3 portions
Calories: 552kcal

Ingredients

for smoked tenderloin

  • 1 lb beef tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp hickory chips for smoking
  • 1 tsp kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground, adjust to taste

for aioli sauce

  • 1 each egg yolk farmer's eggs, pasteurized
  • 4 cloves garlic fresh
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar or sub with rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted garlic horseradish dip by Robert Rothshild Farm, or sub with your favorite
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp avocado oil

for toppings

  • 2 each radishes fresh, thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp Asiago cheese microplane grated
  • 3 tbsp Aioli sauce
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 3 sprigs cilantro fresh, picked leaves
  • 9 sprigs micro greens radish or daikon
  • 6 slices bread artisanal, France country, grilled

Instructions

  • In a blender jar, pulse the egg yolk, garlic, mustard, horseradish dip, salt, and vinegar to combine. With blender running on low speed, drip the olive and avocado oils in slowly, alternating. Emulsify each addition before the next. The more oil you add, the more quickly you can do it. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a few drops of water. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
  • Prepare your Cameron's stovetop smoker. Place a tablespoon of smoking chips in the middle of the bottom, a dripping tray on top, a smoking rack inside the tray. Season beef tenderloin with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on the rack. Secure the lid and smoke over high heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the smoke set for the next 5 minutes with the lid still closed.
    Smoked steak tartare: seasoned beef tenderloin
  • Remove the tenderloin from the smoker and slice it.
    Smoked steak tartare: smoked beef tenderloin
  • Mince the tenderloin with a knife and mix the meat to distribute the smoked and seasoned pieces withe the rest of the meat.
    Smoked steak tartare: minced smoked beef tenderloin
  • Grill the bread slices. To plate, spread 1 tbsp of the sauce per portion making a cirle. Place a portion of steak tartare on top.
    Smoked steak tartare
  • Arrange the toppings and bread and serve.
    Smoked steak tartare

Notes

My culinary school's article The Secrets of Terrific Steak Tartare has useful links for those who deal with raw beef for the first time: how to properly handle meats and how to select the best available beef for your home made steak tartare.
Nigel Slater's Classic Steak Tartare
Steak Tartare Is the Dish of the Moment: A New Generation of Chefs Reinterprets the Classic

Nutrition

Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 657mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g
Smoked steak tartare
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