Steak Frites

Steak-frites, meaning “steak [and] fries” in French, is a very common and popular dish served in Brasseries throughout Europe. It is considered by some to be the national dish of Belgium and France, which both claim to be the places of its invention.

Historically, the rump steak was commonly used for this dish. More typically at the present time, the steak is an entrecôte also called rib eye, or Scotch Fillet (in Australia), pan-fried rare (“saignant” – literally “bloody”), in a pan reduction sauce, although Hollandaise or Béarnaise Sauce are not uncommon, served with potato wedges or deep-fried potatoes (French fries).

Francophilia led to its generalisation to the Portuguese-speaking world, where it is called bife e [batatas] fritas or bife com batata frita, especially in Brazil, where the sauce is usually just onion rings cooked and fried in the steak’s own juice and frying oil, being the most popular dish to go aside rice and beans. It is also very popular in the Spanish-speaking world.

Steak Frites
It's hard to find a French bistro menu that doesn't serve up classic steak frites (or fries). Letting the steak rest after cooking keeps it juicy by allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 700 g potatoes, scrubbed (eg Bintje, Kennebec, Coliban - See Potato Types in Australia)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 500 g steak (sirloin, rump, or scotch fillet), cut in 4 portions
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Cut potatoes into 1 cm thick wedges; toss with half each of the oil, salt and pepper. Spread on baking paper–lined baking sheet; bake in a 230ºC oven, turning once, until tender, about 30 minutes. Broil until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle steak with thyme and remaining salt and pepper. In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook steak, turning once, until medium-rare, about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, chives, mustard and lemon juice. Serve along with steaks as dipping sauce for potatoes.

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