This traditional bistro recipe comes from Chef Josh Moulton, chef de cuisine of Culinart at the United Nations. His secret to the perfect steak frites is that the frites—or French fries—are cooked two times. For delicious results, do the first round of frying a day ahead, chill the fries, and fry again just before serving. And, if you don’t have a cooking thermometer, heat the oil, then test it by submerging one fry; if the fry pops up and floats, the oil is hot enough for cooking.
- 8 Idaho, russet, or Burbank potatoes, peeled
- Soybean oil (enough to fill the pan to a depth of 3 inches)
- 4 (10-ounce) sirloin steaks
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
In large, deep pot, heat soybean oil over medium-high heat to 250˚F on deep-fat thermometer. Add potatoes and blanch until soft throughout but not crisp or colored, 4 to 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove potatoes from the oil to drain on towel-lined pan. Reserve oil for later use.
Remove used towels, replace with fresh ones, and spread potatoes in single layer, using more lined pans if necessary. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight, ideally 24 hours.
Before serving, heat grill or broiler to maximum temperature. Season steaks well with salt and pepper. Grill or broil steaks until probe thermometer inserted into thickest part of steak registers 125˚F for medium rare. Transfer steaks to serving platter and let stand, loosely covered, for 5 minutes.
While steaks stand, remove potatoes from refrigerator. Heat reserved oil in large, deep pot to 350˚F. Add blanched potatoes and deep-fry until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain briefly on paper towels. Transfer potatoes to serving bowl and serve with steaks. Serves 4.