Originally, I wanted this to recipe to be my first blog entry because Steak Frites has a dear spot in my heart. It was the first dish I learned to make by watching my dad. Yet at the time when I was ten years-old, maybe eleven, I just called it steak with fries. These fries were not your Ore Ida frozen variety but fresh hand-cut fries from a potato. And some nights, two Russets. I love telling this story because I cannot fathom the idea of my child cooking with a pot of oil, let alone unaccompanied! But at the time, the worst thing I could do was make soggy fries.
Every Friday evening, my mother would take my brother to Boy Scouts. The nights I chose to stay home alone (my dad was normally off on some consulting gig), I would plan the ultimate evening a 4th grader could devise. A lovely meal of steak with fries to accompany the ABC line-up of TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Funny) Friday night. My favorites were definitely Full House and Just the Ten of Us. Coach Lubbock anyone? I never got into Perfect Strangers with Larry being so obnoxious to Balky. I enjoyed those Fridays, not because I had rule of the remote but because I always opted to cook steak with fries.
- A good cut of steak (NY Strip, rib-eye, or T-bone)
- A sprig of thyme
- Garlic, 3-4 cloves
- Canola oil and olive oil
- Salt and pepper (freshly ground)
I took a few snapshots of the steak but I just couldn’t get myself to post any because I do find raw meat a bit uneasy. Don’t get me wrong, I perfectly understand that I am cooking flesh. My rule of thumb with meat is: appreciate the privilege of getting to eat meat. I will post more recipes on steak, it is the one reason why I could never stay vegetarian.
Pat the steak dry with a paper towel on both sides. Generously pepper both sides of the steak. Drizzle with olive oil and spread the oil using the sprig of thyme.
In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, coat with canola oil. Smash and peel the garlic, leave whole. Once the pan becomes hot, lower the heat to medium heat and let the garlic caramelize on all sides to infuse the oil. Remove from pan and set aside.
Lightly sprinkle the meat with salt. It’s ideal to use a good quality salt, kosher is fine. Raise the heat to medium-high and wait till the pan is hot to add the steak. Give it a good sear then lower the heat to medium and continue to cook for 7 minutes (also depends on the thickness of your steak). The key thing is that you only want to flip your meat once when cooking or grilling. You can peak by looking at the profile of the meat to see how quickly it is cooking. Retrieve the garlic to mince. Scatter onto meat. Flip to the other side and cook at a higher heat for a short bit then lower the heat again. A few minutes before the meat is done cooking, salt the steak a bit more and pour vermouth onto the meat to allow it to drizzle onto the pan.
Tilt the pan and keep spooning the sauce over the meat while it’s cooking. Cook for a few more minutes then transfer to plate. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5-7 minutes to lock in the juice. This is KEY.
As much as I enjoy steak with fries, I can’t imagine serving it without my sauteed mushrooms that will convert any person into a mushroom-lover! Serving this makes me feel like any day could be Friday.