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Steak frites with bearnaise-ish

Try the uptown version of this French bistro classic the steak frites served with Mary Berg's version of a bearnaise sauce! You'll feel fancy without all the hassle. 




  • 1 (500g) boneless ribeye steak, about 2 cm (1-inch) thick
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon


  • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, cut into 1 cm fries
  • Canola oil

Bearnaise-ish Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 tsp lemon juice


  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the Steak

  1. Set the steak out at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200°F (95°C).  Line a baking sheet with a cooling rack or paper towel and set aside.

For the Frites

  1. Place potatoes into a Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot. Cover the potatoes with about one centimetre of canola oil, place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil over high heat; this should take about five minutes. 
  2. When boiling, remove the lid and cook, without stirring, for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully stir the fries, gently scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any that are stuck, and cook for another 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. 
  4. Remove the fries from the oil and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Season immediately with salt and transfer to the oven to keep warm.

Time to Cook the Steak

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Pat steak dry with paper towel. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Add to pan and sear for three to four minutes per side or until golden brown. 
  4. Add the butter into the pan along with one clove of unpeeled garlic and two sprigs of tarragon. 
  5. Carefully tilt the pan slightly and spoon the butter over the steak for one to two minutes for medium or until the steak is cooked to your liking. 
  6. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside to rest for five to 10 minutes.

For the Bearnaise-ish Sauce

  1. Meanwhile, peel and mince the remaining garlic, finely chop the remaining two sprigs of tarragon and add to a bowl along with the mayonnaise and lemon juice, to taste.

To Serve

  1. Cut the steak into one centimetre (1/2 -inch) thick slices and transfer to two plates along with the fries, 
  2. Scatter chives and add a dollop of bearnaise-ish sauce. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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