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".
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.