Steak-frites is a very common and popular dish served in brasseries throughout Europe consisting of steak paired with French fries. It is considered by some to be the national dish of France and Belgium, which both claim to be the place of its invention.
- 8 Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm chips
- 2 litres vegetable oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 50 ml olive oil
- 4 beef sirloin steaks, about 300 g each
- 100 ml white wine vinegar
- 4 sprigs French tarragon, washed
- 1 French shallot, peeled, roughly sliced
- 5 white peppercorns
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 5 egg yolks
- 25 ml bernaise reduction
- 100 g clarified butter, melted
- 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp French tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 4 minutes
Wine pairing: Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, Multi-Region
1. For the bearnaise reduction, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced by half. Strain through a fine sieve, discard the solids and set aside to cool.
2. For the bearnaise sauce, fill a medium saucepan half full with water and bring to a simmer. Place the egg yolks and 25 ml of the reduction in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl on top of the simmering water, making sure base of the bowl isn't touching the water. Using a large hand held whisk, beat the mixture over the hot water rotating the bowl so that the mixture doesn't catch on the sides. Once the sabayon starts to go a pale yellow creamy colour and is thickened, remove from the heat and place the bowl on a wet tea towel to stop it slipping. Whisking continuously, gradually whisk the melted clarified butter into the sabayon in a steady slow stream until well combined and thickened slightly. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper, then stir in the herbs. Keep in a warm place until ready to serve.
3. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Fill a deep saucepan or deep-fryer two-thirds full of oil and bring to 160˚C. Add the chips and cook for 5 minutes without colouring. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Increase the oil temperature to 200˚C. Later, when the steaks are resting, add the chips again to the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel and season to taste.
4. To cook the steaks, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Season the steaks, then cook for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to rest.
5. Serve the steak and chips with the warm bearnaise sauce poured over the top of the steak.
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