Note Cumulus Inc. by Andrew McConnell is published by Penguin Lantern ($59.95, hbk). This extract has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.
I concede this is not a dish for everyone, but I like the way we serve steak tartare at Cumulus. It demands interaction from the punters, reflecting my belief that steak tartare is a dish that needs to be fine-tuned according to individual taste. A splash too much Tabasco could ruin it for some. Well, for me anyway. For this reason, we serve various condiments on the side, including green and red Tabasco and a clear anchovy essence from Italy (colatura di alici). Purists will argue that the addition of fresh horseradish is a sacrilege, an outrage. They can argue all they want - I like it this way. All the dicing and chopping may seem torturous, but the more uniformly and consistently this is done, the more refined the texture of the tartare will be.