Steak and Parsley Frites



Steak and Parsley Frites

I’m a bistro girl at heart, or a trattoria girl; occasionally I’m a brasserie girl, especially if there is good charcouterie involved. So, what’s better than a Saturday night bistro dinner at home?  A simple steak frites is comfort food.  The only finicky part is the fries, but take the time to do them right and you will be rewarded with crispy, delicious fries.

I like classic parsley butter on my steak; it’s the only parsley dish that I can serve to my parsley adverse son.  Why on earth does he have such sensitive parsley radar??

Recipe and step by step instructions to get dinner all out at one time are below.

Parsley Butter
½ cup parsley, de-stemmed and finely chopped, this should yield about 2-3T of chopped parsley
1-2 cloves raw garlic, finely chopped.  Adjust according to your love of garlic
3 T sweet butter

Let the butter come to room temperature and blend. The longer the butter sits out at room temp, the stronger the flavors.

Parsley Fries
1-2 Idaho potatoes, depending on how many you are feeding and how hungry you are
Cold Water
Frying Oil
Salt, Pepper

This is a 3-step process: wash, first fry, second fry. It’s the second fry that gives you that good crispness.

Wash and cut your potatoes into the size and shape that you want. I use
a mandolin to get an even size and shape.  As you cut the potatoes,
drop them into a big bowl of cold water. Let the cut potatoes rest in
the water for a few minutes, then drain, rinse, and repeat the cold
water bath. You are literally washing off the excess starch; you’ll be
able to feel the potatoes ‘crisping’ in the cold water. After 3 or 4
water baths, the rinse water will be clear and clean.
Drain and dry the potatoes (the salad spinner works great for this).

Heat your frying oil to about 300F, try not to get it any hotter than
this. Fry the potatoes in small batches so that you don’t lower the oil
temperature.  I use a deep pot, with 3-4 inches of vegetable oil. You
want to cook the fries for about 2-3 minutes, they will be happily
floating and frisking in the oil, but they will not have browned.
Remove and place on paper towels to drain.
Once you have all the fries cooked, place the plate or tray in the refrigerator to cool.

Clean and dry the parsley leaves and set aside. The drier, the better,
the least mess there will be when you go to frizzle them.  About 1/3
cup of leaves should be enough. Use more or less depending on how much
parsley you like.

Little bit of olive oil

Salt and pepper the steak. Heat dry pan to searing hot, add no more
that 1 T of olive oil and quickly then add the meat. Sear on high heat
on both sides, then turn down the heat, cover and continue cooking
until you reach the desired doneness.  While the steak is cooking,
return the frying oil to the heat, you now want a minimum of 350F as a
cooking temp, so let that oil get good and hot.
When the steak is almost done, remove the pan from the heat, and keep
warm. While the meat is resting, it will continue to cook, so be
careful not to over cook the steak.

Finishing the Fries
Again working in small batches, fry the fries in the hot oil. After
each batch comes out, place on absorbent towels and keep warm, adding a
little bit of salt right as they come out of the oil.  I like to use a
stainless steel bowl for the finished fries.
Once all the fries are done, toss the parsley leaves into the oil.
CAUTION! There will be a huge hiss of steam when they hit the oil,
that’s why I use a deep pot. Stand back. Keep your hands back. This
will only take 1 second!!  Using a hand held strainer, immediately pull
the parsley leaves out of the oil.
If this seems a little scary, it is. You really do need to be careful,
but it’s great. You can do the same thing with basil leaves or sage
leaves. Delicious.
Alternatively, just add some fresh, finely chopped parsley to your fries. It makes an amazing difference.

Toss the crisped leaves into the fries, give everything a good toss,
add additional salt and pepper if you like, and turn onto a warm plate
for serving.
Place a knob of the parsley butter on top of the steak and serve.
Open a bottle of red wine (not too expensive, this is a bistro) and
maybe some crusty bread and a salad.  Voila, a bistro dinner at home!

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