Easy Steak Frites

sliced strip steak with french fries

It’s a French bistro classic, offered at restaurants wherever the romantic vibration of an accordion can be heard. And yet, it’s so simple. Everything you need to know about Steak Frites is in the name—it’s basically two ingredients, beef and potatoes, served naturally alongside one another like café au lait and a cigarette.

The magic is in the balance of rich, juicy steak snuggled up to crisp, salty fries. Paired with a pat of lemony shallot butter that melts into the cracks on the steak’s crust, it’s the kind of blissful bite to make any special occasion (New Year’s Eve dinner, Valentine’s Day, you name it) that much more memorable.

Of course, this version of Steak Frites is easy enough for any night of the week, employing the perfection of store-bought frozen french fries and a fast, 4-ingredient sauce. My favorite cuts of beef to use for a steak frites recipe is either New York strip steak or ribeye, because they are generally thick enough to create a deeply browned crust while maintaining a medium-rare, rosy-pink interior. While that’s my platonic ideal of a steak, feel free to use whichever cut you and your dinner companion love.

How to Make Steak Frites

new york strip steak with salt and pepper

Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.

butter garlic lemon and shallot in a bowl

Combine butter, shallot, garlic, and a few cranks of black pepper (and a pinch of salt, if your butter is not already salted) in a small bowl; set aside.

uncooked new york strip steak in a pan

Place steaks that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick in a cold 12-inch nonstick skillet..* Turn heat to high and cook steaks for 2 minutes. Flip steaks and cook for another 2 minutes (Steaks will not look browned at this point).

*For steaks less than 1 ½ inches thick:

Heat a medium cast-iron or stainless steel skillet on medium-high. Once the pan is hot, add about 2 teaspoons of neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil), then add the steaks and cook until it’s well-browned on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook to desired doneness, 2-4 minutes more.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

new york strip steak in a pan

Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook, flipping steaks every 2 minutes, until cooked (meat registers 120 to 125℉for medium-rare), 6-12 minutes longer. Make sure steaks are sizzling gently the whole time. If the skillet starts to smoke, reduce heat, if the steaks are not sizzling, increase heat.

lemon shallot butter in a white bowl

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the now-empty pan to deglaze any juices from the steak, then transfer this pan sauce to the bowl with the butter mixture and stir to combine. Slice each steak in half to make 4 portions, or thinly slice both steaks against the grain.

sliced strip steak with french fries

Serve steak with a dollop of butter sauce and a big scoop of fries. 

What to serve with this recipe

Easy Steak Frites

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Dinner American
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 13 minutes Cooking Time: 12 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Rich, juicy steak paired with crispy fries and a pat of lemony shallot butter. Perfect for New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day dinner!

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-lb) boneless strip steaks, at least 1 1/2-in. thick*
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 16 oz frozen french fries
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

1

Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.

2

Cook fries according to package directions.

3

Combine butter, shallot, garlic, and a few cranks of black pepper (and a pinch of salt, if your butter is not already salted) in a small bowl; set aside.

4

If moisture has appeared on the outside of your steak (a natural effect of the salt seasoning the steak), pat it dry again with paper towels. Place steaks in a cold 12-inch nonstick skillet.* Turn heat to high and cook steaks for 2 minutes. Flip steaks and cook for another 2 minutes (Steaks will not look browned at this point).

5

Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook, flipping steaks every 2 minutes, until cooked (meat registers 120 to 125℉ for medium-rare), 6-12 minutes longer. Make sure steaks are sizzling gently the whole time. If the skillet starts to smoke, reduce heat, if the steaks are not sizzling, increase heat.

6

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest 3-6 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the now-empty pan to deglaze any juices from the steak, then transfer this pan sauce to the bowl with the butter mixture and stir to combine. Slice each steak in half to make 4 portions, or thinly slice both steaks against the grain.

7

Serve steak with a dollop of butter sauce and a big scoop of fries.

Notes

*For steaks less than 1 ½ inches thick: Heat a medium cast-iron or stainless steel skillet on medium-high. Once the pan is hot, add about 2 teaspoons of neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil), then add the steaks and cook until it’s well-browned on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook to desired doneness, 2-4 minutes more. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

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