Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Cookbook Adventures: Bouchon's Steak Frites

Shocking news to report tonight: Thomas Keller is smarter than I am. (At least in the kitchen... I may be better at physics than he is...) I know, I know... Who would have guessed, right? Um, yeah...
I made the Steak Frites recipe from Bouchon almost exactly as Keller instructed this time, except I still used the wrong kind of steak (just like last time, and for the same reason) and I added the same spicy aioli for the fries. I can tell you right now that I will be making this again and, while I will always make that kick-ass aioli, I will make the effort next time to track down the steak that Keller wants me to use. Not so many prep pictures this time, since it's all pretty much the same other than the steak itself. Before getting to that, I'll note that my pommes frites turned out even better this time, I think.
I'm feeling rather despondent at the moment for reasons related to the Super Bowl, so I will largely let the pictures do the talking. We start with a beautiful steak:
Pan-sear in oil and butter until caramelized and beautiful:
Pour off the fat, then add a bit of butter with the shallots and thyme:
Remove the steak to a baking sheet:
Top with the shallots:
Bake at 450°F until the desired internal temperature is reached (which is 119°F for me):
Top with a round of the maitre d'hotel butter:
Return to the oven for a couple seconds to get that starting to melt as you finish off cooking your fries, then plate it up:
This steak, just like the last one, was cooked to perfection... but in about 7 minutes rather than 4 hours... (Did I mention that I made this whole meal, other than the aioli, during halftime of the Super Bowl without missing a second of game time? Awesome.)
The texture was less tender, but I'm a rib-eye girl so I have no problem with that. The shallots were even more perfect this time, although they were still more caramelized than Thomas Keller would like. (We'll have to agree to disagree on this point.) I think the biggest thing I learned this weekend is that I will probably never grill a steak again. Both tonight's and last night's steaks were cooked perfectly, more so than any steak I've grilled before (and I used to think I grilled a mean steak). This is my new go-to steak-cooking method. I also learned that I should always do what Thomas Keller tells me to, but I kind of already suspected that was the case...


Woods Family said...

My hubby and I just came to the same conclusion. It was raining super hard and we needed steak. I seared, then finished in the oven. Cooked perfectly!!! His a little more rare than mine. He likes his rare/medium rare. I like mine medium rare/medium. We snobs like that!! Yum!!

emmo said...

Especially now that I live in a place with actual "seasons" and "weather," I'm definitely glad to have a technique that doesn't involve digging my grill out from under a foot of snow when I want a good steak... =)