This brilliant take on steak frites is a specialty of chef Andrew Carmellini. He tops seared strip steaks with a butter infused with tarragon, shallots and vinegar—key ingredients in béarnaise sauce—and serves them with tangy French fries made with vinegar-brined potatoes.
Slideshow: More Steak Recipes
4 baking potatoes, peeled
1 gallon water
1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
Canola oil, for frying
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced chervil (optional)
Four 8-ounce dry-aged New York strip steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick, at room
2 tablespoons canola oil
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the frites
Put the peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Slice them lengthwise 1/4 inch thick, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick fries. Rinse in cold water until the water runs clear. Refrigerate overnight in cold water.
Step 2 Make the frites
In a large pot, bring the gallon of water to a boil. Stir in the salt and vinegar. Drain the potatoes and add them to the boiling water. Return to a gentle boil and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the potatoes well, then spread them in a single layer on paper towels. Pat thoroughly dry and let cool.
Step 3 Make the frites
Line 2 baking sheets with paper towels. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 inches of oil to 365°. Working in batches, fry the potatoes for 1 minute, stirring gently so they don’t stick together. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fries to the paper towels to cool.
Step 4 Make the bearnaise butter
In a medium saucepan, combine the shallots, wine and vinegar and cook over moderate heat until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Scrape the shallots into a medium bowl. Add the butter and beat with a handheld mixer until creamy. Fold in the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Step 5 Make the steaks
Season the steaks with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil. Cook 2 of the steaks over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Repeat with the remaining 2 steaks. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Step 6 Make the steaks
Meanwhile, heat the oil in the casserole to 400°. In 2 batches, fry the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. Season with salt. Top the steaks with some of the béarnaise butter and serve immediately with the fries and the remaining béarnaise butter.
The béarnaise butter can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.
Merlot-based Bordeaux from St-Émilion is perfect
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