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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 

April 2015


Credit: © Con Poulos

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 15 mins


Béarnaise Butter


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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

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.

  • 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.

Make Ahead

The béarnaise butter can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

Merlot-based Bordeaux from St-Émilion is perfect with steak.