Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Steak au Poivre and Pommes Frites with Curry Ketchup

The surf has been terrible lately. Yesterday I sat in the water for an hour and didn't have a single wave come my way. Forget that noise. I decided that instead of surfing today, I'd come home, listen to "Are We Not Men? We Are Devo." and make a delicious french meal.

     I really enjoyed making this because it gave me an opportunity to practice making a classic pan sauce. I also loved frying the pommes frites. It looks like a simple dish, but it requires several steps to get just right.

     All in all, it was way better than sitting in the cold water and waiting for 6" dribblers to roll in.

Steak au Poivre

4 servings (1 steak per person)

4 6-8 oz. tenderloin steaks
Coarsely ground pepper
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Pink peppercorns

1. Pat steak dry with paper towels. (Wet beef will steam; dry beef will brown.) Rub all over with pepper and season lightly with salt. Heat oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook steak until cooked to desired doneness, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate so that it can rest and tent with foil.

2. Reduce heat to low and add 1 tablespoon butter and shallot. Cook until shallot is softened, but be careful not to burn.

3. Add wine, broth and thyme to skillet. Increase heat and simmer, scraping up any of the fond (browned bits of steak), until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Turn off heat and whisk in accumulated steak juice and remaining butter (1 tablespoon at a time). Season with kosher salt (I used between .5 and 1 teaspoons), then spoon sauce over steaks. Garnish with crushed pink peppercorns and thyme.

     Next time I will either make my own beef stock or see if I can't find a higher quality stock than the salty, watery broth I used. This recipe deserves better than Swanson's. I think I can find a frozen beef stock at Whole Foods.

Pommes Frites

4 servings

6 baking potatoes, like russets
1 quart vegetable or peanut oil
Kosher salt

1. Peel the potatoes, then cut them into wedges that are about the length and width of your index finger.

2. Cover these in cold water. Soak for about 1 hour, changing the water every 20 minutes. This will allow some of the starch to leach out, which will increase the crispiness.

3. Preheat a deep pot of oil to 325 degrees F.

4. Dry the potatoes with a salad spinner.

5. For the first fry, deep-fry potatoes in the oil for 4 to 6 minutes or until a light golden color. Do not overload fryer. Fry in 3 batches if necessary. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon or tongs, then allow them to cool to room temperature on a flattened brown paper grocery bag.

6. Raise the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees F.

7. For the second fry, deep-fry the potatoes for 2 minutes, or until crispy. The potatoes can go from crispy to burned very quickly, so be vigilant. Remove potatoes, then transfer onto the brown paper bag. While still hot, salt the potatoes.

Curry Ketchup

About 1/2 cup

1 teaspoon curry powder
3 heaping tablespoons ketchup
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 finely chopped scallion

1. Mix ingredients together in a food processor and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for taking us to "your" luscious France!