Mushroom Steak Tartare

Czech name: Houbový tatarský biftek

Written by Veronika Wildova

Czechs love going mushroom picking in the fall, and there is nothing better than bringing your harvest home and preparing a nice comforting dish out of it. Czechs are very good at their mushroom hunting skills as this is a kind of family tradition. Of course, you need to know the right spot where to hunt them, but because there are large wooded areas quite close to almost every town, it is usually not that big of a problem. Some people, however, have their ‘secret spots’ where they hunt, and they usually do not share their secret with just anyone. Experienced hunters and pickers recognize all sorts of mushroom varieties, but children usually learn from their parents or grandparents to recognize the basic varieties.  Mushrooms form a large part of Czech cuisine, and there is something comforting in the thought of being self-sufficient. So, to get that taste of satisfaction, go mushroom hunting to the nearest store!


1 lb Portabello mushrooms
1 Tbs oil
1 onion
1-2 garlic cloves
Tomato purée

Herbs to taste 
ground black pepper
caraway seeds
Worcester sauce, or anything else, according to preference


In a large pot of water, boil the mushrooms for about 20 minutes to soften them. Use a strainer to get rid of the excess water. Cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife or use a grinder to grind them. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat up the oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion. Cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and herbs and spices of choice. Fry for about 2 minutes and serve. Why not get creative with the final serving? Either place the tartare on slices of roasted bread and decorate with some green herbs to give a touch of color or fine slices of Parmesan cheese. To take it up a notch you can serve on the side with potato pancakes.

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