People throughout France sit down regularly to a meal of deceptive simplicity and universal appeal: steak and french fries. It may seem like the world’s easiest dish (after all, it requires only two main ingredients), but the steak must be meaty and juicy, the potatoes buttery and crisp, and both must arrive at the table piping hot. Here’s an uptown version of this French bistro classic, featuring my favorite cut of beef for steaks– rib eye– anointed with a dollop of creamy Béarnaise. The French would most likely pan-fry the steaks, but I prefer the flavor that comes with grilling although last night I did pan sear the rib eye as it was too cold to turn on the grill.

The frites get their meltingly soft interior and crisp crust from a two-step frying process: the first at a lower temperature to cook them through, the second at higher heat to crisp them.

Steak Frites

La Entrecôte est prêt


La Mise en place est prêt


First bring the vinnegar, wine, tarragon, chervil and shallots to a boil.


Jo Ann preparing the Béarnaise


After straining the liquid, you add the egg yokes and carefully whisk.


Finally whisk in the egg yokes, butter and the remaining tarragon and chervil until warm and thick.

Pomme Frites

Frying up the pomme frites during the second fry session.

Steak Frites

Plate up the steak frites and enjoy with a hearty glass of red wine.

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2 thoughts on “Steak Frites

  1. hi Jon – Which variety of potatoes did you use for the french fries? In UK we always cooked our “chips” in lard and some people still do in the north of France. Good photo of the Microplane board! I still use mine for all sorts of grating even if they we destined to be used on wood!


    • We use a golden brown potato that I don’t know the name of that we buy at the local marché. They look like what is called a russet potato in the US. It was great fun last Saturday when Jo Ann and I had to go out looking for lard. We first asked for “lard” as Google Translate said that was a standard word for it, but we ended up with lardons, which we also needed. We then found out, at least locally lard is known as saindoux.

      I still laugh when I see the photo of the microplane board about their inception. Dick needs to keep that to give to some culinary museum some day.


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