It's hard to beat a nice piece of grilling beef with béarnaise and pommes frites. If your béarnaise splits, you can save it by whisking another egg yolk in a clean bowl with a little vinegar until pale and frothy, then whisking in the split sauce little by little.
- 1.2 kg floury potatoes (such as King Edward or sebago), peeled
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 4 rib-eye steaks on the bone (about 300gm each)
- For brushing: olive oil
- 80 gm butter, diced
- To serve: watercress or green leaves
- 75 ml white wine vinegar
- 75 ml dry white wine
- 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 egg yolks
- 200 ml clarified butter
- 1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
- 1Cut potatoes into thin chips and soak in a bowl of cold water for 1 hour to remove excess starch (this makes for crisper chips).
- 2Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 150C. Drain potato chips, pat dry with a clean tea towel, then deep-fry in batches until softened but not coloured (7-8 minutes). Drain on a tray lined with paper towels.
- 3For béarnaise, simmer vinegar, wine, shallots and peppercorns in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced by half (1-2 minutes). Strain (discard solids) into a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, then add egg yolks and whisk continuously until pale, frothy and thick enough to hold a ribbon when drizzled from the whisk (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and gradually add butter a drop at a time at first and then pour in a thin steady stream, whisking continuously to emulsify. Season to taste, stir in tarragon and keep warm.
- 4Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue to high heat. Brush steaks with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt. Grill steaks, turning occasionally, until cooked to your liking (12-15 minutes for medium), then set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- 5Meanwhile, reheat oil in deep-fryer to 180C, add chips in batches and deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown (1-2 minutes). Drain on paper towels, season to taste with sea salt and serve with steaks, béarnaise and watercress.
Drink Suggestion: The richest syrah your money can buy. Drink suggestion by Max Allen