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Home Cooking

Steak frites in the USA during the pandemic

tim irvine | Aug 28, 202006:35 PM     20

My copy of Les Halles is more fun than the Sears catalogue was when I was a kid. It reminds me how dearly I love bistro classics. But even before the pandemic, finding or making perfect steak frites was challenging. Asking for "rumsteak" gets a confused look from most butchers. I have long ago settled on quite rare hanger or a thick skirt as my top choices. My sauce is usually a heavily salted and peppered red wine reduction or, now and then, Bernaise. I like the frites thick enough to taste the potato and thin enough to get well crisped on the second frying. I don't have anything on hand for frying other than peanut oil. So I am unlikely to experience duck fat fries any time soon. I like a bit of lemony home made mayonnaise with the frites. Salad is simple mixed greens with vinaigrette and good salt like wet sel gris. (I love Jacobsen finishing salt or Maldon, too.). Wine is whatever is red and handy, usually an Oregon PN or a California cab blend or zin, but it has been long enough that I am thinking I'll cook with a decent zin like a $10 Ravenswood and pop the Lytton Springs for drinking.

What cuts and sauces do you like? I am hoping that the hot weather will break in September, and I am feeling self-indulgent after half a year of salads, light seafood, and the like, broken only by the occasional taco, enchilada, or pasta dish.

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