I would love to have a great steakhouse meal now and then, but the steakhouses in New York City (which is about 45 miles away from us) are just too expensive and there just are not very many quality steakhouses in the area that we live that are affordable to the average family anymore. Sure, it’s a treat to go out and have a nice dinner once in a while, but it is also great if you make something similar to that experience all on your own at home and without the benefit of having a gas or charcoal grill to use. Even with a good grill, you never are really going to get the same type of steak you get at a good steakhouse unless you are spending a fortune for some quality aged beef and have a professional-grade oven that can get the heat cranked up to 800 degrees to get that great sear you need. So for the rest of us, there are still options to get a great meal for yourself. The New York Times recently had an article in their dining section regarding making a good steak at home and it can be a lot easier than you think with this recipe. It just takes some time and paying attention and you can make your own great steak and potato meal.
Steak with Maitre D’Hotel Butter and Mock Frites
For the Potatoes:
8-12 new or baby potatoes
3 tablespoons canola oil
For the Maitre D’Hotel Butter:
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Splash of Champagne or white wine vinegar
For the Steak:
2 pounds beef steak, such as boneless rib-eye, approximately 1-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set a large pot filled with salted water on the stove. Add the potatoes, turn the heat to high and cook, gently boiling, until the potatoes are softened, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and dry them well.
Oil a sheet pan with half of the canola oil and put the potatoes in the pan in a single layer. Using a potato masher or the bottom of a heavy glass, gently smash each potato, pressing it down to a thickness of less than 1 inch. Drizzle the rest of the canola oil over the smashed potatoes and place the sheet pan on the top rack in the oven and allow them to roast until the exteriors are golden and crunchy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add salt to taste.
For the butter, place the butter on a cutting board and, using a fork, cut the thyme, shallot, lemon juice and vinegar into the butter until the butter is creamy and smooth. Scrape the butter together with a chef’s knife and form it into a rough log. Roll the butter tightly into a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
As the potatoes finish crisping, make the steaks. Set a heavy-bottomed skillet (or 2 if your steaks are very large) over high heat and let the skillet sit for a few minutes until it gets very hot.Pat the steaks dry with paper towels to absorb any exterior moisture. Shower the steaks aggressively with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the canola oil to the pan and shake the pan to distribute the oil evenly. The oil should almost immediately begin to smoke to let you know the pan is ready. Place the steaks in the skillet and allow them to sear, unattended, for 4 minutes, until they have developed a good crust on one side. Turn the steaks over and cook for an additional 3 to 6 minutes for medium-rare. Remove the steaks to a warm platter to rest. Top each steak with a tablespoon of the compound butter.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 or 3 potatoes on each plate alongside a steak. Top each steak with pats of the butter and serve.
You really need to make sure your pan is very hot before you put the steaks in to make sure you can get a good crust. You also want to make sure you have gotten rid of any surface moisture from the steaks so they are not just steaming in the skillet but cooking to get a good sear. The steaks came out perfectly (of course you can always cook them longer to your particular liking, just keep a close eye on them so they don’t overcook) and the potatoes were perfect, crisp and crunchy just the way I like them. I used New York strip steaks since that is what was on sale when I got steaks and they worked out well. You can serve this with any traditional steakhouse recipe, like creamed spinach or asparagus, and having some nice bread to go along with it or some dinner rolls can really round it out for you. I made some corn on the cob and sautéed some mushrooms and onions to go along with the meal and used some of the steakhouse bread I had in the freezer. The butter is great not just on the steaks but on everything else you might serve as well.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!