This meal happened a little while ago (the sage flowers should date it pretty accurately for those of you in these parts). But no matter; it’s still highly seasonally appropriate.
I had cured some beef eye round but not yet hung the meat up to dry. This is a fairly recent practice; if I rinse the cure off after a few days but then return the meat to the fridge in a container, it doesn’t dehydrate but also doesn’t go bad because it’s suffused with salt. As a result, one can enjoy a lovely carpaccio a week later.* At the height of salad season (when this happened), that’s highly useful, since a few slices of raw beef make a pile of lettuce much more filling and nutritious: the perfect lunch or first course (with or without hungry guests to appease).
So I took this raw-looking but cured-tasting meat and minced it wicked fine with all my knife skills, then stirred in some garlic scapes, herbs, cured chilies, and spicy aioli from an earlier dinner. A little extra olive oil. Couple dashes of fish sauce. Let it sit to get used to all the interesting company.
Meanwhile, I sliced some potatoes reasonably thinly and fried them in the bowl of random rendered fats that used to sit right next to the stove until we got a cat. The resulting discs occupied a very happy place between fries and chips. I hit them with a little salt and pepper and then, using a ring mold, assembled little tartare burgers, which—and here’s the kicker—were neither technically tartare nor burgers! I know, right? SO cool!
The chips afforded pretty prefect vehicles for scooping the intensely flavored and fetchingly textured meat into our mouths. Overall, this small course punched well above its weight class in delivering the full intensity of a burger and fries experience in just a few bites.
Highly recommended, would eat again.
*After that point, it’s a good idea to dry out the rest or just cook something with it because given enough time it will get moldy.