Dining In: Steak Frites

November 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

One of the bloggers whose content I always enjoy is Jeff Carter over at Points and Figures. Jeff’s part trader, part venture capitalist, part political commentator and part gourmand. At some point early this summer he tweeted about how he was making Steak Frites that evening. I thought to myself “hmmmm, maybe I’ll do the same.” Much like my deep dish recipe, it took a lot of experimentation to get things right. I started with Rachael Ray’s technique as sort of an outline (only because it was the first result that came up in Google) and expanded on it a bit from there.

I decided from the get-go that I was going to do both the frites and the steak on the grill instead of in the kitchen. Much easier to deal with spattering oil that way. Plus it’s pretty hard to beat the taste of a grilled steak, right? The obvious downside is that you lose the sucs for the base of the sauce but that’s a trade that I’m willing to make. Sacrilege to some, I know.

My grill is a good ol Weber Genesis Silver, two burners. To kick things off, I heat it to medium high. As it heats up, I put my 18″ cast iron skillet on the left side, filled with about 2″ of oil. I let the oil heat up for around 8 minutes or so (I don’t actually measure the temp, just the time) before adding potatoes sliced shoestring thin in a single layer. I leave them in for about 6-8 minutes. This is a lot longer than the original technique calls for and probably at a lower temp,  but I’ve found that it works just fine for me. I then pull the potatoes out of the oil, salt and pepper them, and crank the grill all the way to the stops.

After 5 minutes or so, potatoes go back in the skillet for 10 minutes tops. It’s pretty easy to tell when they’re done because they’ll be that nice shade of golden brown and start to curl just a touch at the ends.

As the frites are crisping, I cook the steaks. NY strips, you know the drill – leave them out for 20-30 minutes, salt and pepper. Because the grill’s running so hot I cook them as far away from the middle as I can. 4 minutes, turn 90 degrees, 4 minutes, flip, 4-5 minutes on the other side gets them to that perfect shade of medium rare.

Since I’m way too scatterbrained and clumsy to run back and forth between the deck and the kitchen I let Mrs Ilk handle the sauce. Pretty similar to the original but we use port:

1 shallot, chopped

1 T butter

1 T flour

1 c port (Here I’ll throw in a quick plug for St Francis vineyards, they send us a bottle every Christmas as part of their wine club. If you like moderately priced California reds they’re the tops.)

Salt/pepper to taste

Melt the butter, sweat the shallot in it. Add flour, cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in port and cook until thickened. Plate steak, top with frites, dump sauce on top.

We also saute mushrooms and serve on the side.

 

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