Steak and chips is a classic favourite enjoyed worldwide in many variations. Here’s how I like it just fairly plain and simple with a good béarnaise sauce. You could fry your chips as in my video but I have written a more healthy practical way of making good chips at home. Enjoy!
Prep time: 30-40min
Cooking time: 6-12min for the steak
4 x 170g rump steaks or whatever size suits
A drop of sunflower olive or vegetable oil
A 50g knob of butter
Plenty of fine sea salt and cracked black pepper
800g unpeeled Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
125g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
½ tsp white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar
A pinch of salt
10g fresh tarragon chopped
10 black peppercorns
To make the chips
1. Scrub the potatoes, cut into 1.5cm thick lengthways slices and cut each slice into 1.5cm thick chips. Place the chips into a large saucepan, pour in enough water to just cover and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 4 minutes only.
2. Drain, tip the potatoes onto a clean tea towel, pat dry and leave to cool (this can be done 1-2 hours in advance). Heat your oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and place a large shallow non-stick roasting tray in the oven with 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and toss in the remaining oil using your hands. Place a single layer onto the hot roasting tin, bake for 10 minutes and turn them over. Bake for another 5 minutes, and then turn again. Bake for a final 5-8 minutes until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
To make the sauce
4. Melt 125g butter in a saucepan and skim any white solids from surface. Keep the melted butter warm. Put 2 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan. Whisk for a few minutes then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until pale and thick for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter, little by little until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy béarnaise. Add in the chopped herbs and check the seasoning (if it gets too thick, add a splash of water), keep warm until needed.
6. Remove the steaks from the packaging and season well on both sides with salt and pepper; allow the steaks to ‘breathe’ once removed from the packaging. Leave uncovered at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (this will allow the steaks to cook much better and create less moisture when cooking so that they fry rather than steam).
7. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on the hob with a drop of oil, once this begins to gently smoke add a knob of butter, once the butter begins to melt place the steaks in the pan taking care not to splash hot butter on yourself.
8. Moving them as little as possible, cook on one side for 2-3 minutes for rare to medium, 3-5 minutes for medium to well done (depending on how you like your steak cooked) or until you see the edges of your steaks start to turn brown, then using tongs gently turn over and cook for a further 2-3 or 3-5 minutes.
9. Once ready remove from the pan and place on a warm plate and poor over the pan juices, set aside and allow to rest whilst you assemble your plate as per video. The resting of cooked meat allows the proteins to relax giving you a better eating quality and allowing flavours to develop.
10. Once everything else is ready on the plate, serve your steak and eat immediately accompanied with a watercress salad, grilled tomatoes and/or mushrooms.