Tatar (beef tartare)

Tatar, or beef tartare in English, is a dish consisting of raw and spiced ground sirloin served with chopped onions and pickles and sometimes an egg yolk on top. I know that eating raw meat may seem a little extreme to some but it is seriously really good. People are mostly afraid of bacteria. Well, I am here to tell you that there is a special way to prepare beef tartare in a way that it is safe- you freeze it for 3 days before serving which kills all of the bacteria. Quality of the meat is also crucial. Make sure you buy organic, grass-fed USDA beef if possible. I made that dish in Poland where I could buy it from a local farmer knowing that the cows were treated well and fed grass. I think it’s important both for ethical and quality reasons. I know, however it is more expensive, especially in the States.

Pretty cold here in Chicago. Even though I love sun and summer is my favorite season hands down, somehow I am really enjoying these long, cold winter evenings this year. We have a fireplace, fake but still, and just sit in front of it and watch Netflix and relax like that and it’s so comfortable, if we have some good snacks with us, it’s perfection. No, just kidding snacks+wine, that’s perfection. Speaking of wine, our friends are having a wine and cheese party this Saturday which I, as a major foodie, am looking forward to so much. Every couple/ person brings one cheese and one wine and we get to try everything at the end and some people bring the coolest stuff ever, it will be so good. And what else is good? Yes, you guessed it- tatar.

As I mentioned quality of the beef is very important. Ground sirloin works the best. The meat should be frozen fresh for 3 days and unfrozen the day you are planning to serve it. Of course, when it is unfrozen it has to be stored in the fridge.

It is important not to add salt- that’s the first thing, otherwise meat will turn weird grey color and won’t be appetizing at all. I poured some hot water over raw eggs to kill all the germs. I separated egg yolks from egg whites. I mixed the meat together with egg yolks, oil and Maggi spice. It is best to to it my hand. The meat should be “massaged” until smooth and glossy. Then I spiced it up pepper and some mustard and mixed everything again.

cevapcici ground beef

Tatar should be served fresh and cold, right from the fridge. Serve it with chopped onions and pickles on both sides. Optionally, you can make a dimple in the middle and put an egg yolk in the middle. Tatar also tastes great with pickled mushrooms.




If you tried that recipe and posted a pic or comment use hashtag #EasternEuropeanRecipes I’d love to see how it turned out!



  • 1 lb of good quality ground beef
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 1 onion
  • 5-6 pickles
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Maggi
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard


  1. Pour hot water over 2 eggs. After 2 minutes crack them open and separate egg yolks from egg whites.
  2. Mix egg yolks, oil and Maggi with meat, “massage” the meat until smooth. Add pepper and mustard and mix again.
  3. Serve with chopped onions and pickles. Enjoy!

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