Prep 2 hrs
Cook 1 hr
A ubiquitous Parisian bistro lunch: beautifully rare steak bathed in butter with crispy fries. The arteries that pump my red American blood scream "Sacre Bleu" but my tummy screams "Vive le France".
- 2 lbs hanger steaks, cut in half (boneless rib steaks work well too)
- freshly cracked salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups peanut oil
- 6 large potatoes
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- For the Steak:.
- Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. If you have time, let the salted steaks sit for 35 minutes in the fridge - they'll be a bit more juicy this way. If not, just season and cook.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until almost smoking.
- sear the steaks about 4 minutes per side, or until rare to medium rare.
- Remove, set aside and keep warm.
- At this point, you can simply deglaze the pan with your choice of water, wine, or even a combination of pepper, cream, brandy, and mustard and reduce to make a sauce for the steaks, but I prefer just a dab of butter.
- For the Frites:.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into about 1/4' matchsticks.
- Soak in cold water for at least 2 hours - overnight is fine.
- Drain the potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Toss with the cornstarch. Transfer to wire rack on rimmed baking sheet. If that's too much work, I sometimes just dry them on paper towels --
- Heat the peanut oil to 330 degrees F.
- Fry in a few batches for about 3 minutes - until it's partially cooked, but not yet browned.
- Remove each batch to drain on paper towel.
- Raise the temperature of the oil to about 375 degrees F.
- Fry potatoes again in batches for 1 or 2 minutes, or until golden and crispy - this will ensure that you have fries that will stay crispy, even if the butter gets to them.
- Serve immediately, go to confession*.