Fresh Beef Tartare with Wine-Infused Capers

Fresh Beef Tartare with Wine-Infused Capers
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About This Recipe

Napa Valley has a magic to it that's hard to put into words. Between its sprawling golden vineyards and the symphony of whispered wine tales, this region lends itself to culinary inspiration. Among these inspirations is my Fresh Beef Tartare with Wine-Infused Capers, a dish that encapsulates the spirit of this wine country.

The story of beef tartare is ancient, but introducing it to capers that have soaked in the velvety embrace of a Cabernet Sauvignon is a Napa signature. The experience is transformative; with each bite, the beef and the wine-infused capers tell a story of the valley's rich soil and vineyard romance.

For the choicest beef tenderloin, I always recommend local farms where the land is respected and sustainable farming is a passion. In Napa, 'farm to table' isn’t a fleeting trend, it's our tradition. It's the promise of a chef meal at home, made even better by supporting the hardworking hands of our local farmers.

In terms of wine pairings, given the bold character of the tartare, you’d want a wine that stands tall beside it. A robust Cabernet Sauvignon, bursting with notes of dark fruits and velvety tannins, is a match made in heaven. Alternatively, venturing towards a GSM blend will promise a tantalizing play of flavors, with the spiciness of Grenache, the depth of Syrah, and the smoothness of Mourvèdre.

For accompaniments, consider something that brings a touch of freshness. A salad of greens picked at dawn or a bowl of chilled gazpacho. Dessert could be a subtle wine-infused sorbet or just fresh berries sweetened with a drizzle of local honey, echoing Napa’s sun-kissed afternoons.

Speaking of Cabernet, a trip to Napa is incomplete without experiencing what Turnbull Winery has to offer. Nestled in the heart of the valley, Turnbull is renowned for their exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, an artful blend of ripe berries, hints of mocha, and gentle spice. It's not just a wine, but a testament to the winery’s commitment to authenticity. Their tasting room, adorned with breathtaking photos of our land, offers a sensory journey unlike any other.

To elevate your home dining experience to rival Napa’s best restaurant wine selections, pop by Vintner’s Vault. They don't just offer wines, they offer chapters of Napa’s rich tapestry. Each bottle paints a part of our history, each sip is a cherished memory.

To wrap it up, this beef tartare isn’t merely a recipe. It’s Napa on a plate, celebrating our proud history, the farm-fresh produce, and above all, the wines that have made this valley legendary. When the evening calls for a touch of Napa magic at home, let this dish transport you straight to our enchanting vineyards, one tantalizing bite after another. Here’s to Napa, always in our hearts and on our plates. Cheers!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Cabernet Sauvignon-Infused Capers

Cabernet Sauvignon, with its full-bodied richness, brings an innovative twist to this classic dish. Native to Napa Valley, this red wine possesses robust notes of dark fruits, oak, and gentle spices. When infused with the piquant taste of capers, an explosion of flavors emerges that is quintessentially Napa. The union of these two ingredients captures the spirit of vineyard-driven cuisine, making every bite a true wine-country experience.

How to Achieve Perfectly Chopped Beef Tenderloin for Tartare

  1. Selection: Opt for prime beef tenderloin, ensuring it’s fresh and high quality. The beef should be vibrant in color and firm to touch.
  2. Chilling: Place the beef in the freezer for 15 minutes before chopping. This firms it up, making it easier to handle.
  3. Knife Skills: Use a sharp chef's knife. Begin by slicing the beef into thin sheets, then stack and slice into thin strips. Finally, gather and chop finely into small, even pieces.
  4. Safety: Always work on a clean cutting board, and clean all utensils and surfaces after handling raw beef to prevent cross-contamination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I substitute the beef tenderloin with another cut? While beef tenderloin is the prime choice for tartare due to its tenderness and lean nature, sirloin can also be a good substitute if handled and chopped correctly.
  2. How long can I store the beef tartare in the fridge? Beef tartare is best enjoyed fresh. However, if needed, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Always consume with caution and ensure it smells and looks fresh.
  3. I'm allergic to capers. What can I use instead? Green olives finely chopped can be a suitable substitute for capers. They bring a similar briny touch to the dish.
  4. Which other wines can I use for infusing the capers if I don't have Cabernet Sauvignon? While Cabernet Sauvignon brings a distinct depth, other full-bodied red wines like Merlot or Shiraz can also be used to infuse the capers.
  5. Do I need any special tools for this recipe? A sharp chef’s knife and a sturdy cutting board are essential. If you wish to achieve a more refined texture, a food processor can be used, but ensure not to over-process.

Tips for Success

  1. Quality Matters: Always opt for the highest quality beef. Given the raw nature of tartare, freshness and quality can significantly impact taste and safety.
  2. Balance is Key: While the wine-infused capers bring a robust flavor, ensure that the other ingredients don't overpower. Taste and adjust seasonings gently.
  3. Presentation: Tartare is not just about taste, but also presentation. Use a ring mold to shape the tartare on the plate, garnish with extra parsley, and serve with warm toasted baguette slices for a restaurant-quality look.

Recipe Overview

Fresh Beef Tartare with Wine-Infused Capers
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 8 oz. prime beef tenderloin, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup red wine (preferably a full-bodied variety like Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • Toasted baguette slices or crackers, for serving

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Start by infusing the capers: In a small saucepan, combine the capers and red wine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the capers soak in the wine for an additional 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the finely chopped beef tenderloin, wine-infused capers, red onion, olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and parsley. Gently mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
  3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. If using an egg yolk, create a small well in the center of the tartare and place the yolk in it.
  5. Serve immediately with toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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