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Raw meat by Peter Coker

Rauw vlees van Peter Coker - Lyklema Fine Art

Peter Coker, the butcher's shop no. 1. (1955)

Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield

This realistic work was purchased by the Tate Gallery at the first exhibition, but Coker did not make an immediate breakthrough because Abstract Expressionism gained the upper hand in modern museums. He painted this work partly with a palette knife, which ironically made it partly abstract. There is something contrasting about the painting by the frail Coker, who depicted such a brutal scene in a painting and wanted to show what is involved in obtaining and preparing meat. Something gross. The butcher processes raw meat and quarters a beef. Coker's work is now again seen as a portrait of England that is also raw and sometimes not very refined.

Paradoxically, steak tartare is typically a fancy recipe because it's all about the quality of the ingredients. The dish was served in the early 20th century under the name steak à l'Americane without the egg yolk and with a tartar sauce. Over time it evolved into raw, chopped (not ground) beef, seasoned and topped with a raw egg yolk. Typically, the beef is lightly marinated in lemon juice, a Mexican technique that begins to 'cook' the meat and kills the bacteria.


Recipy Steak Tartare


200g beef fillet
25g shallots
40g pickle
20g capers
1/2 chili flakes
80ml tomato ketchup
20g Dijon mustard
90g mayonnaise
5 drops Tabasco
14ml cognac
1 egg yolk
10 grams of chives

  • Finely chop the meat
  • Chop the shallots and pickles
  • Combine all ingredients and let the flavors absorb for half an hour
  • Serve on a plate and place egg yolk on top
  • Garnish with the chives and parsley
  • Delicious with chunky fries and/or toast with melted Parmesan
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