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Perfect Steak Frites

Welcome Friends! Today on Djalali Cooks we are making a French Bistro favorite, Steak Frites. Earlier in the week I featured Lasagna For Two, as a great Valentine’s dinner to make for your sweetheart; today’s Perfect Steak Frites is another dish that would make a great Valentine’s Dinner. Especially if your idea of a perfect date includes dinner at a cute French Bistro; a table for two, with wine and cozy ambiance. We will use a cold-start method for both the steaks and the frites – so let’s get to it!

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As I mentioned above, we will use the cold-start, or cold-pan method for the steaks. If you’ve been following the blog, the cold-pan method is probably familiar to you. We start the steaks in a cold, dry nonstick skillet, turn up the heat and flip the steaks every two minutes until they have a gorgeous crust and are perfectly cooked – it takes 10-14 minutes total.

We will use a cold-oil method to fry the French Fries. Starting the fries in cold oil is an interesting technique developed by Cook’s Country. This cold-oil method means we can use less oil, the fries absorb less of it, and we don’t have to fry them twice to get crispy exteriors. Here we go!

The Prep

We will start with salting the steaks. I have two New York Strip Steaks. Trim off any hard or excess fat, then pat the steaks dry and sprinkle Kosher salt on all sides of the steaks. Set them aside.

Now for the compound butter that tops the steaks. Let four tablespoons of butter sit out at room temperature until it is very soft. Once soft, stir a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley and 2 minced garlic cloves into the butter until everything is well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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You want to use potatoes that are mostly the same size, so we have evenly cooked fries. We also want large, long potatoes, for that classic French fry shape. Cook’s Country recommends Yukon Gold potatoes, which get crispy on the outside and have a slightly sweet, creamy texture on the inside.

Slice off about a 1/4-inch piece from a long side of each potato, this gives us a nice flat surface to set on the cutting board to avoid any potato slipping. Once flat on the cutting surface, slice the potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks.

Then stack two or three of the planks and make 1/4-inch slices lengthwise to make batons.

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Ready to Start

With our French fries cut, the steaks salted, the compound butter mixed, we are just about ready to start. Pour 6 cups of peanut oil into a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Line a large sheet tray with three layers of paper towels to catch the cooked Frites and set aside.

The Frites will take about 30 minutes. The steaks will take about 10-14 minutes, add 7 minutes for letting the steaks rest before serving. So we will start with the frites, and when they are nearly halfway done, we will start the steaks.

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Add the cut potatoes to the cold oil in the Dutch oven and turn the burner to high. It will take about 5 minutes for the oil to begin vigorously bubbling. Once the oil is vigorously bubbling, let the fries cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are limp but beginning to firm. At this point, stir the potatoes occasionally and let them cook another 7-10 minutes.

When the Frites have been in the oil about 15 minutes, start the steaks. Pat them dry once more and season with fresh cracked black pepper. Place them in a cold, dry nonstick skillet and turn the burner up to high. Cook for two minutes, flip and cook the other side for two minutes. When you make the second flip (back to the first side) decrease the burner to medium-high. Adjust heat as necessary to keep steaks sizzling, but not smoking or burning.

Between flipping steaks, stir the frites in the oil. Keep flipping the steaks every two minutes until the steaks’ exteriors are deep brown and an internal thermometer reads 125 degrees (for medium-rare). For a more well-done steak, keep going, flipping every two minutes. When the steaks are done to your liking, pull them from the pan, place on a plate or tray. Top each steak with about 2 tablespoons of the compound butter (I used a small cookie scoop) and then tent the steaks with foil.

The Frites should be ready just as the steaks are ready to come off the heat. Pull your steaks off heat first, then pull the frites. If you like a more well-done steak, pull the frites out of the oil first.

When the Frites are crispy and golden brown, use a spider skimmer to transfer to the paper towel-lined sheet tray and generously sprinkle with Kosher salt.

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Plate it Up – Perfect Steak Frites!

Place a serving of Frites on a dinner plate and place one of the steaks on top, or along side, of the Frites. Serve with ketchup if you like.

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I love the cold-pan method for cooking steak inside, on the stove top. It is the cleanest, no-fuss way to pan cook a steak. Plus, it comes out perfect every time! The cold-oil start for the Frites is also genius – neither I, nor my kitchen, smelled like the fry station at McDonald’s after cooking, which is a huge plus in my book.

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This dish does come together all at the same time, which can seem scary, but with the 2 minutes between flips of the steak and the Fries somewhat gently cooking in the oil, it all comes down to starting and staying organized, and having everything prepped and at the ready before we begin cooking.

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Thank you so much for spending some of your day with me! I do hope you try this recipe for Perfect Steak Frites. The cold-start method we use for the steaks and the French fires are really great ways to get consistent results, without a ton of mess and stress. Be sure to pin this post to keep for later use – make the Steak Frites, or make the Steak, or make the French Fries, Great cooking techniques are good to keep on hand! Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Items Used in Today’s Perfect Steak Frites Recipe

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Dinner, Main Course French
By Adapted From Cook's Country Serves: 2
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cooking Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: ~50 Minutes

This French Bistro classic is yours to have in the comfort of your home in about one hour, with two easy cooking methods. It's Steak Frites!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. Butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2.5 lbs. Large Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • 6 cups peanut or vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 (1-pound) Boneless NY Strip Steaks, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed

Instructions

1

Pat the steaks dry and sprinkle Kosher salt on all sides of the steaks. Set them aside.

Compound Butter

2

Stir a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley and 2 minced garlic cloves into the butter until everything is well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Potato Prep

3

Slice off about 1/4-inch piece from a long side of each potato.

4

Cut side flat on the cutting surface, slice the potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks.

5

Then stack two or three of the planks and make 1/4-inch slices lengthwise to make batons. Do not hold cut potatoes in water.

6

Pour 6 cups of peanut oil into a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Line a large sheet tray with three layers of paper towels to catch the cooked Frites and set aside.

Begin the Cook

7

Add the cut potatoes to the cold oil in the Dutch oven and turn the burner to high. It will take about 5 minutes for the oil to begin vigorously bubbling. Once the oil is vigorously bubbling, let the fries cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are limp but beginning to firm. At this point, stir the potatoes occasionally and let them cook another 7-10 minutes.

8

When the Frites have been in the oil about 15 minutes, start the steaks. Pat them dry once more and season with fresh cracked black pepper. Place both steaks in a cold, dry nonstick skillet and turn the burner up to high. Cook for two minutes, flip and cook the other side for two minutes. When you make the second flip (back to the first side) decrease the burner to medium-high. Adjust heat as necessary to keep steaks sizzling, but not smoking or burning.

9

Between flipping steaks, stir the frites in the oil. Keep flipping the steaks every two minutes until the steaks' exteriors are deep brown and an internal thermometer reads 125 degrees (for medium-rare). For a more well-done steak, keep going, flipping every two minutes. When the steaks are done to your liking, pull them from the pan, place on a plate or tray. Top each steak with about 2 tablespoons of the compound butter (I used a small cookie scoop) and then tent the steaks with foil.

10

The Frites should be ready just as the steaks are ready to come off the heat. Pull your steaks off heat first, then pull the frites. If you like a more well-done steak, pull the frites out of the oil first.

11

Use a spider skimmer to transfer the golden brown, crispy Frites to the paper towel-lined sheet tray and generously sprinkle with Kosher salt.

12

Serve Frites along side steak.

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  • Terry
    February 3, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Wow this looks really good. The potatoes starting out cold I’ve not heard of that before. They look really good and I have to say the kitchen not smelling like a burger joint is a plus plus.
    The steak looks amazing as well, cold sear is really is really good. It the best way to go on the chops . I have made that several times. have a great Thursday ❤️?mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 3, 2022 at 11:34 am

      Hi Mom, yeah who would think the cold-start method would be so effective! I am glad you have made and enjoy the cold-sear chops. That’s another great cold-start recipe. xo Kelly