Related Interview: Perfect steak frites at home with America's Test Kitchen
We wanted a French fry recipe that used half the oil and required no double frying, so we tried submerging the potatoes in cold oil before frying them over high heat until browned. With lower-starch potatoes such as Yukon Golds, the results were crispy exteriors and creamy interiors. For the steaks, we found that thicker-cut boneless strip steaks gave us more time to get a nice crust on the exteriors without overcooking the centers. Also, timing the cooking of the steaks and the fries so that both would be ready to go at the same time was a challenge. To get around that, we readied all of our ingredients and equipment before we started cooking and got the fries into the oil 30 minutes before serving time.
For the best French fries, we recommend using large Yukon Gold potatoes (10 to 12 ounces each) that are similar in size. We prefer peanut oil for frying for its high smoke point and the clean taste it imparts to fried foods, but you can use vegetable oil, if desired. Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more for this recipe.
1. Mash butter, shallot, parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in bowl; set compound butter aside.
2. Square off potatoes by cutting 1/4-inch-thick slice from each of their 4 long sides; discard slices. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick planks. Stack 3 or 4 planks and cut into 1/4-inch-thick fries. Repeat with remaining planks. (Do not place sliced potatoes in water.)
3. Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Combine potatoes and 6 cups oil in large Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil is vigorously bubbling, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes longer.
4. Meanwhile, pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add steaks and cook until well browned and meat registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 4 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to platter, top each with compound butter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Using spider or slotted spoon, transfer fries to prepared sheet and season with salt. Serve fries with steaks.
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