Few things make me as happy as steak frites. Steak frites is just a fancy way of saying a dish of steak and french fries, but it sounds so much better to say “I’m enjoying a meal of steak frites” than to confess to eating steak and fries. Steak is a rarefied food – the best of the beef, so why eat something as undignified as fries with this incredible piece of beef? Because it’s delicious, that’s why!
Steak frites is just an unabashedly simple and delicious dish. Instead of fussing around with complicated potatoes gratin or fondant or something seemingly fancy, steak frites is just good old french fries with your steak. Often considered the national dish of Belgium (it’s between steak frites and waffles), we should embrace our European sensibilities and dive into this delicious combination.
The crispy, salty fries go so well with the richness of the steak, and while you could serve a salad or some other vegetables with the steak, I recommend you skip the greens for this meal, and just load up on steak and fries. What I don’t recommend you skip on though is dipping sauce. In Belgium, you’ll usually find a mayonnaise based sauce, while in France, you’ll find hollandaise or béarnaise sauces served with this dish. Very fancy, quite yummy, but probably unnecessary.
Since this is America, I recommend you serve ketchup with your steak frites. If a little bit finds its way on to your steak that’s okay. I know at a butcher shop we’re supposed to yell at anyone who puts ketchup on steak, but let’s be honest; if you enjoy a little sweet ketchup on your steak, that’s okay. You do you! Or maybe use your favorite steak sauce (which is basically just fancy ketchup) to dip steak and fries into. Whatever you do, it’s okay. This is a recipe for dipping!
In addition to ketchup for the fries, I do like to serve a compound butter on top of the steak. You can purchase many delicious pre-made compound butters to use – I used the Banner Butter Roasted Garlic, Basil, Parsley butter, or you can make your own. If you don’t like compound butter, you don’t need it, but it’s a nice addition.
This version of steak frites uses a thicker cut New York strip steak for the steak part of the recipe. Ribeye, may be a bit more common choice of steak, but I really like how strips cook and how they slice so nicely to look beautiful on a plate with the frites and are easy to share. You don’t have to slice the steak before serving, but it is a nice presentation, and makes it easier to let the compound butter melt over allllll of the pieces of steak.
If you don’t like New York Strip Steaks, all of these steaks work well for a steak frites dish:
- Ribeye Steak
- Bone-In Rib Steak
- T-Bone Steak
- Porterhouse Steak
- Top Butt Steak is not the best choice, but will work just fine for this recipe if you’re on a budget.
I also used a thicker cut steak (we usually cut at 1″, you’ll find thinner in many grocery stores), because a thicker cut steak works better with the reverse sear method of cooking we’re using (see below) and because thick cut steaks are easier to slice and serve. I think slices from 2 thicker cut steaks will usually feed 4 adults, but you can user thinner ones if you’d like everyone to have their own steak. If you have big eaters, maybe just use 4 thick steaks!
I prepared this recipe using a “reverse sear” method of cooking where I start the steak in the oven to slowly come up to temperature, and then I finished in a cast iron skillet for an amazing sear on the outside. You can simplify the recipe and save time by just searing the steaks (although they won’t cook as evenly), or grilling them. If you’re into sous vide cooking, this is a great opportunity to share some amazing sous vide steaks! Whatever your preferred method of cooking the steak is fine with us.
I also wrote this steak frites recipe to make your own frites at home. Don’t get me wrong, you can buy frozen french fries and this recipe will still work out just fine, but I do like making homemade fries. I think the edges of the fries get a little crispier when I cut them myself! I recommend using Russet potatoes for fries because they have a lower amount of moisture, and moisture in the potato is the enemy of crispy fries!
To cook the fries, we use the tried and tested double fry method in a Dutch oven. Frying twice makes for super crispy fries, and super crispy fries are delicious fries. If you have a home deep fryer or air fryer, you can also cook using those appliances using the same temperatures. Times may be different in an air fryer, so keep an eye on color and crispiness!
What do you think of our steak frites recipe? Are you a steak frites aficionado or are you a skeptic? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts on steak frites as a dish, and how we prepared this recipe. We love hearing your feedback and tweaks to what we do. Enjoy!
- 2 Leahy’s Angus Beef NY Strip Steak (cut at 1.25 – 1.5″ thick)
- 4 Russet Potatoes
- Vegetable Oil
- Kosher Salt (we recommend Diamond Crystal brand)
- Black Pepper
Generously season all sides of your New York Strip steaks with kosher salt and let them sit at room temperature on a wire rack over a baking sheet while you are preparing the potatoes. This is the process of dry brining, and if you have more time, you can start this process earlier! Read this blog post for more details.
Peel the potatoes, then square off the ends and cut into about 1/4″ strips. Put all of the strips into a colander, and rinse them off with cold water as you go. After rinsing, put them into a large bowl filled with cold water and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This will remove excess starch.
After preparing the potatoes, season the steaks with black pepper or your favorite salt free steak seasoning. Place the steaks into an oven preheated to 275ºF and cook for about 25 minutes until they reach 115ºF. We recommend using a remote digital meat thermometer to monitor temperature from outside the oven – cook to temperature, not time!
When the steak reaches temperature, remove from the oven. Pour 2 tbsp. vegetable oil into a large cast iron skillet and heat to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and sear for 2-3 minutes per side. I prefer only flipping once, but you can flip frequently if you like. Make sure you sear the fat caps of the steaks as well. When the steaks are seared, remove from the pan and let rest.
After 30 minutes, drain the fries and pat them dry with paper towels. Make sure they are very dry before putting them into hot oil! Pour enough vegetable oil into a large, deep bottom Dutch oven or similar cookware to cover about 1/4″ of the pan. Heat to 325ºF and cook the fries for 6 – 8 minutes or until they’re soft.
Remove the fries from the oil and transfer to a paper towel lined pan to drain. Turn the heat off the oil and let the fries rest for 15 minutes. Heat the oil back to 375ºF and then add the fries back to the hot oil. Cook until they are golden and crispy, about 3 more minutes. Remove from oil, season generously with salt and a pinch of black pepper.
Slice the steaks into strips and serve on a plate with a dollop of compound butter, a generous helping of hot fries, and your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy your steak frites!