Monday, August 17, 2015

Steak Frites with Peppercorn Sauce

After reading about the sauce feud in the Wall Street journal a few weeks ago, I looked at my husband and said, "We are either going out for steak frites, or making them at home, you're choice." As experimentally fun as it always is, we decided to go with the latter. Challenge accepted.

We've cooked steaks before and homemade fries, but trying to muster a swoon-worthy sauce had my knees quivering. The sauce was going to be the secret to making it a success. But, after much research in French culinary books and Frenchie chef recipes available online, we came up with a sauce that probably wouldn't become a third contender in the sauce battle between l’Entrecôte and Bistro Régent, but it would do the trick for a few Texans looking for their fix. And boy oh boy, was it goooooood.

What you'll need...
4 strip steaks*
2 russert potatoes
3 cups Canola Oil
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon sherry wine
2 Tablespoons black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 medium-sized shallots
1 garlic clove

What to do...
1.) Cut your potatoes into strips, skin on or off, your preference. Soak in water for 15 minutes.
2.) Pour the canola oil into a deep saucepan and heat to 375 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, you can put a dry piece of potato into the oil and wait until the potato starts to fry, then maintain heat and make sure it doesn't get too hot).
3.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
4.) Take your steaks out of the refrigerator to get to room temperature.
5.) Drain the potato strips and dry off with a paper towel.
6.) Place a handful of the potatoes into the saucepan and fry for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the parchment papered tray. Continue until all potatoes have been fried.
7.) Put the tray full of potatoes into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy to your liking.
8.) You may want to start heating your grill to your desired temperature (for a quick, hot sear of a medium cooked steak, we heat to around 500 degrees).
9.) Place the shallot and garlic in a mini food processor and cut until finely chopped.
10.) In a medium-sized skillet melt the butter and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until slightly browned.
11.) Add the white wine and sherry and deglaze, allowing the pan to bubble and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
12.) Add the whipping cream, salt and pepper to taste, and allow to simmer and thicken, stirring occasionally.
13.) Add the steaks to the grill, about 5 minutes on the first side, flip it, and then about 2-3 minutes on the second side.** 
14.) Once the sauce has reduced, add the black peppercorns and stir.
15.) Plate the fries, the steak, and drizzle with the sauce, making sure to scoop up the peppercorns onto the plate.

* My butcher took a 2 pound steak and sliced it in half, both ways, to get me four steaks of the right size for steak frites. I always recommending asking the experts, they appreciate it and tend to be right.
** Look for grill marks, color change, and feel the firmness of the steak to determine the proper cook time.