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The Chef’s Table | Recipe

The Chef’s Table | Recipe

The Value of Whole Foods When “Healthy” Foods Aren’t So Healthy
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Veggie-Forward Beef + Beet Tartar organic | regenerative | a classic for the future

If the future of foods is in sustainability, carbon footprint, nutritional density, and food security, then it also needs to include another crucial factor—deliciousness! Inspired by my time at Blue Hill Stone Barn Farms, this recipe truly checks all the boxes. It’s light yet satisfying, rich yet clean, super nutritious, hits so many notes of texture and flavor, is a marriage of regenerative animal and plant farming, and bridges the gap between classical cuisine and future foods.

(serves 6–8)
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  • 1 large red beet (approx. 6–8 oz)
  • 1 large gold beet (approx. 6–8 oz) (or badger flame beet from row7seeds.com)
  • 10–12 oz raw, premium-quality regenerative grass fed/finished beef—go with your favorite cut
  • *2 oz beef tallow (rendered fat, available from your local butcher) (*optional)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • 2 oz capers, finely minced
  • 4–5 sprigs fresh thyme, picked and finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives, finely minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh chervil, finely minced
  • 2 oz micro arugula (or other microgreens); reserve for garnish
  • 2 oz Dijon mustard
  • 1 oz pickled mustard seeds (optional for garnish)
  • 4 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 med lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 oz parmigiana reggiano, finely grated
  • 1.5 tsp cacao nibs, toasted and finely ground into powder (reserve 1/2 tsp for garnish)
  • 6–8 quail or small duck eggs, yolks only (whites can be used later for an omelette or meringue)
  • 6–8 pieces toasted ancient grain bread (optional for garnish)
  • Flake sea salt + fresh cracked black pepper + esplette chili—all to taste

Cook the Beets

  • Scrub the beets well, removing any residual soil/sand, skin on through the whole process
  • Option 1 | Slow Oven-Roasted Beets
    • Simply place beets in a shallow roasting tray, fill with about 1 inch water, and cover with aluminum foil
    • Oven roast at 250ºF degrees for approx. 4–6 hours
    • Beets are done when a paring knife easily passes into the center and juices start to bubble out of skin and have a syrup-like thickness
    • Remove from oven and chill
  • Option 2 | Cooked Sous Vide in Beef Tallow (if you have access to a vacuum sealer + immersion circulator)
    • Simply place beets (separated by color) into a vacuum bag with 1/2 oz tallow, 1 sprig thyme, pinch of salt per bag
    • Seal + cook w/immersion circulator in water bath 180ºF overnight (8–12 hours)
    • Remove from bath and chill

Mise en Place (things in place) | Chopping + Measuring + Organizing

  • Either in the bowl of a food processor or by hand, finely chop cooked/chilled beets into rough ¼-inch pieces, set aside refrigerated until ready to plate
  • Either in the bowl of a food processor or by hand, finely chop beef into rough ¼-inch pieces, set aside refrigerated until ready to plate
  • Freshly mince + zest + juice + measure remaining ingredients
  • Prep your dressing (mix fresh just before serving)
    • in a medium mixing bowl, place shallots, capers, thyme, chives, chervil, Dijon, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, parmigiana reggiano, cacao powder
    • gently stir together with a spoon until evenly mixed
    • taste, add sea salt, pepper, esplette / adjust / taste again before mixing into tartar

Plate + Serve

  • Add minced beef and beets to large mixing bowl
  • With about half your dressing, mix gently and taste
    • If you prefer, add more dressing—adjust flavor to your preference (any leftover dressing can be used as a plate garnish or tossed on fresh greens for a salad)
    • Allow to rest for 5 mins at room temp and taste again before plating
  • Using a 4-inch ring mold or cookie cutter, fill with approx. 4 oz of dressed tartar mixture for a nice presentation
  • Garnish each individual tartar presentation with yolk, pickled mustard seeds, microgreens, flake salt and pepper
  • Serve with ancient grain toast on side
  • Dust plate with cacao powder to accentuate natural earthy flavors of the beets

Specialized Equipment Requirements

  • Cuisinart or other high-quality food processor (need sharp blades!)
  • Vacuum sealer + immersion circulator for sous vide cooking (optional)
  • Microplane for zesting
  • Sharp chef’s knife for mincing

Pro Chef Tips

  • Select a cut of beef with high intramuscular fat (i.e., marbling); tenderloin is an obvious choice because its soft and easy to chew, but don’t overlook cuts like short rib for this—the better the quality, the better the final flavor!
  • You’re serving raw beef—talk with your butcher and ensure top quality for food safety
  • This recipe has a significant amount of mincing/blade work—more injuries happen from dull blades than from sharp, so make sure your knives and food processor blades are properly sharpened!
  • Always taste before serving. This is a steadfast—but fun!—rule of being a chef.

Chef David Robbins, an award-winning veteran of the international culinary world, has worked with Michelin- and JBF-rated chefs, including Blue Hill’s chef Dan Barber. Robbins is devoted to biodynamic agriculture, slow foods, clean living, veggie-forward cuisine, and family businesses, and volunteers with local charities such as ECHO Farms and SWFL Children’s Hospital. “Growing up on a small family farm in Hawaii has given me a unique appreciation/perspective for the places and people that produce our food.”

Robbins is also the founder of the SWFL startup “Not A Burger,” superfood plant-based protein patties (100% vegan/gf/non-GMO). Made with local organic whole-food ingredients (including beets, quinoa, heirloom lentils, etc.), he hopes to offer a nutritious, delicious, and sustainable option to a growing industry of sometimes questionable plant-based foods.

Additionally, Chef David is available for private cooking classes, wine dinners, and personalized catering. Contact 239.247.2244 or email: chefdavidrobbins@gmail.com.