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.
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