Steak Fries

Steak friesSteak fries are big French fries, usually in the form of wedges cut from a whole potato.

As with French fries I use a two-stage cooking method: one low-temperature stage to cook the potato flesh, and one high-temperature stage to crisp them up.

Because steak fries have a more substantial interior than French fries, I think they can handle a much crustier exterior, one that walks the line between crispy and crunchy, with jagged bits of browned potato to contrast the starchy inside.

For reasons explained below I like to use a potato variety that doesn’t hold it’s shape very well during cooking: Russets, which also happen to have a great fluffy, slightly granular texture.  Yellow-fleshed varieties hold their shape perfectly and don’t brown readily during frying.  I also find their creamy interior inappropriate for steak fries.

Russet potatoes cut into wedges, after being simmered in their jackets and cooled thoroughlyFor the first stage I simmer the potatoes whole, in their jackets.  Once the potatoes are fork tender, I remove them from the water and immediately and gently cut them into wedges.  The trick is to have the potatoes just starting to fall apart as you cut them, so that they have jagged surfaces that will crisp during frying.  Let the cut potatoes cool and release their steam.  This part can be done hours or even a day or two in advance.

Fifteen or twenty minutes before the meal fry the wedges in canola oil at 350°F until they are thoroughly browned and crusty.  Be patient.

Remove to a paper towel and season judiciously.  As with most deep-fried food, you’ll find that ordinary table salt and fine-grained sea salt adhere much better than coarser varieties like kosher salt.

Below: beef tenderloin with steak fries, mayonnaise, and kale salad.

Beef tenderloin with steak fries and mayonnaise