Filet Américain

Filet Americain with Onions

Different from what the name suggests, this is a very typical dutch sandwich spread. I know that in France and Belgium they mean something else with “filet américain”, something the rest of the world calls “steak tartare”, but I’m dutch and this is what dutch people call filet américain. When I was young this was a luxurious treat for special days, nowadays it’s a cheap, day-to-day spread from the supermarket. Their recipe “degraded” so much over the years I decided to start making my own. After all, it’s dead simple, anybody with a blender can do it. I like it with finely chopped raw onions on top and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Spread on a sandwich or going back to the seventies and spread it on some celery sticks!


225 gr lean beef
3 T kewpie mayonnaise
2 t mustard
1 t paprika powder
½ t salt
½ t ground black pepper
⅛ t curry powder
pinch of cayenne-pepper
10 drops of Worcestershire sauce

Dice the beef and add with all other ingredients to your blender. Blend for quite some time, it really has to become a smooth paste. Taste it and see if you need to add some more spices or salt. Eat the same day, I wouldn’t keep it for longer than 24 hours. Refrigerated of course.

Any lean beef will do. You just don’t want any strings of fat in it because that won’t blend. It doesn’t need to be the most expensive cut, flank steak (bavette) will do just fine. I recommend Kewpie mayonnaise because it’s nice and sour. You can use raw egg yolks instead or a sweeter brand of mayonnaise, but then you might want to add some lemonjuice or vinegar. I use wholegrain mustard from Limburg and “Kerry Djawa” currypowder.

Filet Americain on Celery


About Robin

I love to cook. Check out my dutch website:
This entry was posted in Beef, Homemade, Sandwiches and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Filet Américain

  1. wilhelmina Jaffe says:

    My all time favorite in Holland, now with this recipe I can make it at home in the USA.

  2. Robin says:

    Let me know how it turned out. And whether you dare to serve it to American friends and what their reaction is. :-)

    • Philippe says:

      If it is such a “Dutch” delicacy why give it with a French name? We do not call “maatjes” “raw herrings”!
      This is for sure a … Red Herring

  3. Marcus says:

    I make Filet American quite often, although a different recipe. It is real good it’s harder to serve American friends, but most of them really enjoy it. And by the way it is like eaten steak tartare. What I do different for my recipe is that I prefer to ground the beef fine and stir in the rest of the ingredients. And the better qualiti of the beef the nicer the texture. Last I tried beef eye round that was good.

  4. Robin says:

    I’ll try adding the rest of the ingredients in the end next time.
    I think when you use this kitchen machine, like I do, it doesn’t make much difference which cut of beef you use. But if you grind it in a meat grinder or just don’t grind it too much, it definitely does make a difference.

    What’s your recipe? Egg or mayo? Paprika or not? Just curious.

  5. Sandy in Fishy says:

    Hi Robin, My Dutch treat (husband) Ad has been pining for this, over here in Australia. Just wanted to check a detail with you. The capital “T” = tablespoon, and little “t” = teaspoon? is that right? Cheers, Sandy

  6. Sandy in Fishy says:

    Sorry! I came to this recipe through Flickr, and just checked your homepage and saw the explanation of T and t, so all is fine.

  7. Robin says:

    You weren’t the first to ask, it’s just that I really like the T and t, it visualized the quantities for me and never mix them up anymore like I did before with tbsp and tsp.

    Hope Ad will enjoy the recipe. I can’t imagine he won’t. Good luck!

  8. MONSE says:

    Hi I would like to know the amounts, they do not understand about T t, I’m Spanish but my husband is Dutch and I love the Filet americain, could explain ,this translation I’ve done it via google, I hope you understand.Hablas Dutch? ?
    un saludo

  9. Robin says:

    1 T = tablespoon = eetlepel = cucharada = 15ml
    1 t = teaspoon = theelepel = cucharadita = 5 ml

    (I wrote it on the homepage, unfortunately it doesn’t show on single pages. I should try and change that setting because you’re not the only one who can’t figure it out. ;-) )

  10. Kim Pham says:

    Thank you Robin,
    I’m not Dutch but I used to live in Netherland for 15 years and moved to US about 13 years ago. I’m big fan of Filet Américain, every time I went back to Nederland I can eat Filet Américain whole day and now my son is 9 years old, after 3 time visited Nederland he fall in love with Filet Américain, he keep asking to go back to Holland to have “broodje Filet Américain”. But now i found you, I will try it to make it home and will let you know how it taste. But so far it look prettyyummy on the pictures.

    Thanks Robin,

    Kim from California USA

  11. Robin says:

    Cool! I hope the recipe will come close to your memories.
    I’d like to hear how it turned out.

  12. Antoine B says:

    For the record in France, we call a steak tartare when it’s a steak in a plate which hasn’t been mixed yet, and you can add an egg, spices, oignons .. and do your own mixture. Whereas a filet américain is the same food and ingrédients already mixed and put in a sandwich. I didn’t knew the original Dutch’s version i’ll try it someday, looks tasty.

    Antoine from Lille, (FR).

  13. Robin says:

    I’m curious to hear how you liked it. But somehow I expect you to prefer the french version. ;-)

  14. Beth says:

    Hello Robin!

    I am making this for my Dutch husband as a surprise. He misses this more than anything (we now live in California).

    Can you use ground beef for this recipe or should I get something better? I was assuming ground beef would be easy, but don’t want to do it wrong! Also, is the cayenne and curry optional or does that make the taste better? He can’t do spicy very well, but loves Filet Americain, so I want to make it awesome,


  15. Robin says:

    The cayenne and curry powder is hardly noticeable, so yeah, you can leave that out. I’ve heard of other people using ground beef, but I don’t think I would use that. Normally it’s too fatty. Just go and find the leanest piece of beef your butcher has on offer. It doesn’t have to be prime beef, just as lean as possible, with no white bits in it. Chop it and then blend it really well in your blender. It should become like a paste.

    Good luck! Hope it works out for you.

  16. peter dunne says:

    Hi there.

    We just tried this recipe
    We used lean beef steak.
    This tasted great it is just like i can remember.

    thanks peter dunne

  17. Robin says:

    Cool! Thank you, I love feedback. :)

  18. Sander says:

    The “steak tartare” on Paris terraces does not look like filet american; it looks more like the Dutch “Gehakt”, so *coarsely* ground meat. And with a raw egg (and onions) next to it. So something else than the finely ground meat of filet american.

    And in Belgium they certainly have the ‘Dutch’ filet amercian. Together with tabasco and pickles on bread it’s called Broodje Martino. Yummie!

  19. Robin says:

    It’s always a gamble when you order steak tartare, isn’t it? You can never be sure what to expect. Last time I ordered it was in a dutch restaurant and they served it with an hardboiled egg instead of a raw egg yolk! Hahaha.

    But when done correctly, I love steak tartare. Like this one I ordered in Belgium at restaurant “het Pakhuis” in Gent:

    Lunch @ Pakhuis in Gent

  20. wilhelmina says:

    I was born in Holland and grew up with filet Americain. Every butcher has their own recipe I guess and most of them were good. I see on your picture with ingredients an eggyolk, but not in the list of ingredients. Can you leave it out? Or is it too important to the flavor and/or texture?

  21. Robin says:

    Funny that so many people ask me that question while the answer is in the text. ;-)

    I think in the early days it was done with egg yolk (which is an ingredient for mayonaise anyway), so I tried that a few times (as you can see in the photo) but after a while I decided I prefer the use of kewpie mayonaise. Not just because it’s easier and simpler, I really think the result is better when using mayo.

    Are you gonna try and make some yourself? Let us know if it turned out as expected/remembered. Good luck!

  22. Peter says:

    Hi Robin,
    Been looking for a filet americain recipe for ages, and yours is the only one that actually tastes like the stuff from the ‘slagerij om de hoek’ of my childhood.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Greetings from Africa,

    After a bit of experimenting I put in the mayo AND the egg yolk for an even richer mix.

  23. sam says:

    can i ask a strange question please? i have bought “prepare” from belgium and love it in a sandwich. but can it be cooked? it is after all raw meat so if i made the mixture culd i cook it?

  24. Robin says:

    Why not just test it and fry a tablespoon of it?
    Although I really can’t see that work, like I can’t imagine it tasting nice. ;)
    But please let us know the result. I am curious now.

  25. gerry says:

    Hi thanks for this recipe I used to live in Holland and took this regularly on my sandwiches to work. I missed it when I moved. Back to the uk but. Now I can have a small piece of the Netherlands in my own kitchen,
    Thank you for sharing

  26. ryy says:

    i eat prepare daily in belgium and whenever i come to greece to meat the family i bring a potteke prepare with me and the moment they see it it is gone so now we are going to learn them to make their own prepare groetjes ray

  27. Sari says:

    I’ve tried a couple of recipes before your one, and by far, this is THE best one.

    I stayed in Germany and Netherlands for three months with my Dutch boyfriend, who introduced me to filet americain. Needless to say, once home, I have been trying to replicate it here in Australia. And voila! success.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe :)

  28. Laurel says:

    I ate so many broodjes filet americain when I lived in Amsterdam I’m surprised I didn’t turn into a vampire :) I can’t wait to make my own now. What do you think about keeping? Would it last a few days in the fridge? Or could I freeze it perhaps? I’d love to know what you think….

  29. Robin says:

    I would never keep it longer than one day in the fridge. Max two days, maybe.
    I’ve heard of people freezing it, but I wouldn’t do that either.
    Sorry, you’re on your own. ;-)

    (in the supermarket version are all kind of chemicals and it’s sterilized I think. I’m not sure, but homemade, no, better just eat it right away)

  30. Michael says:

    Hey Robin,
    Thanks for this recipe. I am originally from Belgium and have been in Australia over 17 years, I do miss the Americain prepare and your recipe was spot on. Many thanks again.


  31. Ron says:

    Filet americain and steak tartare are 2 different things even in Belgium…

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