How to Make Lamb Tartare Like a Chef

A good lamb tartare recipe will cost you around 15-$20 at a nice restaurant. If you love it like I do, you should know it’s easy to make at home. Read on and I’ll show you how chefs do it.

Lamb or goat tartare on a plate with toast and a salad.
Lamb tartare garnished with edible flowers, toast and a salad.

Tartare, or raw, seasoned meat is a delicious way to prepare lamb or goat, especially in the summer since it’s a light dish that doesn’t involve turning on a stove. It can be intimidating to make at home, but it shouldn’t be: it’s one of the easiest things I know how to make as there’s no cooking involved. Typically people think of beef when they think of tartare, but lamb and goat are both fantastic and well worth the small amount of effort they take to put together.

There’s a few important things to know though, and after making tartare in my restaurants for years, I have a few good tips for you.

Tartare tips

Cutting lamb or goat tartare
Freeze the roast for an hour or so to firm it up and ensure nice, even cubes of meat. You can also grind it.

Use a lean muscle, preferably from the leg

You want a lean cut of meat here, with no visible fat. Fat is not desirable in tartare as it doesn’t have the same tender mouthfeel as lean meat. This means you’ll want to use a muscle from the leg, or a loin. I prefer to use leg muscles as they’re cheaper.

Trim the meat of all connective tissue

This is important. You’ll want a sharp paring knife to do the trimming as I outline in the video.

Freeze the meat for 30-60 minutes to make dicing it easier

While you can cut the meat fresh, or grind it, I prefer my tartare diced into tiny cubes. Freezing the meat after trimming will make it easier to dice.

Vinaigrette for lamb tartare
A like a nice, light vinaigrette with lots of shallots and herbs for my tartare.

How to make lamb tartare

While you can season tartare with just about anything you like, my favorite is the simple vinaigrette that I used to serve at my restaurants, that I learned from a chef I worked for. Some people like mayonnaise-based dressings, and that can work too. Feel free to be creative. One of the best tips for cutting meat into perfect small cubes for tartare is to put it in the freezer for an hour before cutting. If the meat is warm it will be much harder to cut into cubes. If dicing meat sounds difficult, you can also grind it, but make sure to trim as much fat off as you can.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef



This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo, a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Goat or lamb tartare on a plate with toast garnished with edible flowers.

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Lamb or goat tartare (1)
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5 from 1 vote

Lamb Tartare Recipe (Or Goat)

Simple lamb or goat tartare with a vinaigrette made from shallots and herbs is easy to make at home, and a good option for warm summer months.
Prep Time30 minutes
Freezing/Chilling1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: Goat, Lamb, Tartare
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 186kcal
Cost: 10


  • 1 Sharp paring knife
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 clean cutting board


Lamb or goat

  • 8 oz lamb or goat in one piece, preferably a muscle from the leg or a lamb loin

Grilled bread

  • A few tender salad greens or other garnishes like diced pickled or hard boiled eggs or egg yolk (optional)


  • ½ cup 70 grams shallots diced 1/4 inch
  • ¼ cup 55 grams extra virgin olive oil or similar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste a few cracks of the mill
  • ¼ cup 55 grams apple cider or champagne vinegar


  • Trim the lamb or goat of all sinew, fat, and connective tissue, then wrap in cling film and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Remove the lamb from the freezer and dice into small ¼ inch cubes.
  • Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and allow to rest while the meat chills.
  • To serve, stir the vinaigrette, then mix the diced lamb or goat with 3 tablespoons of it. Double check the seasoning of the tartare for salt, and adjust as needed until it tastes good to you.
  • Pack the tartare into a ramekin or ring mold, unmold onto a plate, and serve garnished with freshly grilled or toasted bread cut into small triangles, the greens or other garnishes, if using.



Many different cuts can be used here as long as they're lean. Top round, eye round, and loin are the best. 


Serving: 1.5oz | Calories: 186kcal | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 84mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg