Thursday, 6 January 2011

Something Tasty: Henry's Steak Hache

I often look back with fond memories over the family photo albums with snap after snap of my brother and myself  clumsily holding knives and forks in French restaurants trying to imitate our parents. Whilst our hand eye skills may have been tested, we were certainly unadventurous when it came to cuisine. It’s weird to look back, as I tuck into Choucroute Garni, Fried Sweetbreads and Oxtail Stew, and think that the only thing that my brother and would touch was Steak or Steak Hache and chips with a tomato salad. Of course soon enough my parents had enough of taking us to smart restaurants only to eat the most basic of food – we might as well have gone to the Buffalo Grill if this was all we were going to eat and so Steak was banned for one holiday and since then I have never looked back.

However, with hindsight, and out of a certain sense of nostalgia for the simple French Bistro food that I enjoy so much, I thought I would revisit the classic steak hache and add my own little twist. The addition of having my new mincer meant that trying this was to much to resist and so I set to my task with verve and vigour in order to capture the atmosphere of a gascon brasserie!

You must make your own mince for this recipe and you must, must use a piece of steak with a marbling of fat and a healthy coating round the edge – Sirloin is a good bet. From an economics point of view you do not have to break your bank for this recipe, of course if you only by the best then by all means but there is nothing wrong with using a steak which you have purchased from your local supermarket, just make sure that it is of good size.


1 good sized steak (Sirloin is my preferred cut)
Seasoning to taste
Handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
Scant splash of white wine vinegar
Splash of Worcestershire sauce


  1. bring steak to room temperature and set your mincer to the fine setting.

  1. chop the steak into medium sized cubes and turn on the mincer.

  1. Gradually add the meat to the mincer and push through until all the meat has been ground.

  1. Place the mince into a mixing bowl and resist any temptation that you may have to add an egg (all this will do is bind your hache and it will have the consistency of a bullet, if you execute this recipe properly, it will hold its shape!). Add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chopped parsley and seasoning and mix all together with your hands

  1. When amalgamated take a 4½"" ring cutter and pile the mixture in, shaping round the contours of the cutter.

  1. Lifting the cutter off, the mix should look like a large Steak Tartare. Using a sharp knife, slice horizontally halfway up the patty in order to create two equal burgers.

  1. Re-shape the new burgers with the cutter and then run a fork over the top of the patties as you would a shepherd’s pie (this helps the hache to brown quickly and gives a pleasant browning which complements the meat when served rare)

  1. Heat a drizzle of sunflower oil in a large pan which can accommodate both haches without them meeting in the middle.

  1. Cook to your preference (Personally I think the are a waste of time unless you have them rare!).

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