Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meat and potatoes... but with a few twists!

Our dinner tonight? Meat and potatoes... but with a few twists!

Taking a knife to a few russet potatoes and slicing them into sticks was the first order of business tonight for this Steak Frites with Shallot Pan Reduction dish - peel first if you want, but we rarely do that for most potato dishes. While the original recipe called for a spritz of cooking spray before cooking, we went with a drizzle of canola oil instead as we've gotten better results that way. If your baking sheets are small, feel free to spread the sticks between two sheets and rotate the pans halfway through - we used a single half sheet pan and there was plenty of room in between.

While the potatoes were baking away, we took a big 'ol hunk of lean sirloin steak and seasoned it generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper. The steak went into a skillet with a touch of oil just long enough to caramelize both flat surfaces, leaving the inside a juicy bright pink. As it rested, a couple tablespoons of finely chopped shallots were tossed in, followed by a couple splashes of brandy to pull up those intensely flavored browned bits left behind from the steak.

Beef broth, swirled with Dijon mustard, is then poured into the skillet, along with a sprinkling of fresh thyme. A bit too saucy as is, the broth is left to simmer, creating the savory reduction that was hard to resist sneaking spoonfuls of for "quality control". To give the reduction a bit of sheen and richness, just a couple small knobs are snatched from a stick of butter and whisked in at the end.

Once the fries were golden and crisp, with tender moist insides, they were hit with a scattering of additional fresh thyme, releasing its brilliant aroma as it hit the hot potatoes. To serve, we thinly sliced the steak and the tender strips through the shallot reduction to pick up the flavors - since there was still quite a bit of the sauce left, I poured it into small bowls to serve on the side. So, while this was "meat and potatoes", it certainly brought a whole delicious new perspective to it!


  1. (Rare) Steak and potatoes. mmmm. I like the finish to the steak. The pan reduction seems to pull this all together in a nice little package.

  2. Lisa - yes, we both thought the reduction was excellent!