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For her Steak Tartare with Smoked Oyster Aioli, Best New Chef Kate Williams, of Lady of the House in Detroit, uses tender beef scraps rescued from butchering rib eyes. Dark green leek tops, often discarded, become the base of her punchy gremolata. The smoked oyster aioli adds muscle and brightness, and it’s easy to make (it takes about a minute in a blender). Tartare calls for the best-quality meat; you’ll eat it raw, so go for the good stuff—rib eye or flatiron is a nice way to go. To get a perfectly diced steak for tartare, freeze the beef until it is just firm, about 15 minutes, before slicing.

July 2018


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 25 mins




Make the oyster aioli
  • Combine egg yolks, vinegar, and Dijon in a blender, and process on high until frothy, about 15 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in grapeseed oil until smooth and thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl, and clean blender.

  • Add oysters and anchovies to blender; process until smooth, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Stir anchovy mixture into egg yolk mixture until blended and smooth. Season to taste with salt. Chill until ready to use.

Make the charred leek gremolata
  • Preheat a gas grill to high (450°F to 550°F). Cut white part from leek, and reserve for another use. Wash green leek tops thoroughly, and pat dry with paper towels. Break spines of leek tops, opening them up so they can lie flat on grill grate. Place onion slice on oiled grate; grill, uncovered, until softened and charred, about 6 minutes per side. Let cool slightly. Arrange leek tops in a single layer on oiled grate; grill, uncovered, until slightly charred and crispy, 8 to 11 minutes, flipping often.

  • Finely chop charred onion to equal 1/4 cup. Thinly slice leeks crosswise, and finely chop. Stir together leek, onion, parsley, grapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, and honey in a small bowl until blended. Season to taste with salt. 

Make the rye toasts
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange rye bread slices in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Break bread slices in half.

Assemble the steak tartare
  • Gently toss steak with 6 tablespoons charred leek gremolata, olive oil, and salt.

  • Spread a scant 1/4 cup oyster aioli on half of each of 6 plates; spoon tartare mixture evenly in a circle in center of each plate. Stand 4 rye toasts up in each tartare mound. Finish each with a drizzle of olive oil.