Thursday, April 28, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - bistro paul bert pepper steak

Goodness gracious but the boys were happy this week.  Steak is at the top of their list of favorite dinners, so when they asked what was for dinner and I told them filet mignon with cognac sauce and french style frites there were cheers!  How nice to make a recipe that I knew from the get go was going to be a winner.

I also got to use a new to me kitchen appliance (a deep fryer).  The deep fryer was from my mom's house (she had an amazing collection of brand new appliances, still in the boxes and this was one that I took (not really sure why, as I never deep fry things...but after using it, I'm so glad I've got it.)


We generally don't like filet mignon as much as other cuts of steak (New York & Rib Eye), but I decided to follow Dorie's recipe to a t...so I got filets (instead of t-bones...ha ha...get it...to a t...t-bones...guess you have to be in my mind to see the humor), and I've got to say I'm really glad I did.  These steaks were fork tender and had a great flavor (plus the cognac sauce was unbelievably yummy!!) Ethan's steak was a little big and he thought he'd save a bit to make a steak sandwich for school the next day.  However, when he got home from Boy Scouts, he decided to scarf the rest of his steak (he's getting good at eating two dinners each night!)

The cognac sauce, before stirring

With respect to the frites...I was not as successful.  Since I had a deep fryer to test out, I decided to follow Dorie's instructions and "blanch" the fries, let them cool and then fry again (at a higher temp).  As I got ready to cut my fries, I searched hi and low for my mandolin...you know...the one I've used numerous times to make Dorie's version of scalloped potatoes (other wise known as pommes dauphinois), but I couldn't find the mandolin anywhere.  Alas, I had to cut the darn things by hand.  Unfortunately, I did not achieve the beautiful, even cuts that my mandolin is so good at and some of my fries were more steak fry size than frite size.  With the blanching and then hot frying, the frites got a little too brown.  While Ethan and I loved them (especially with our sel gris on them), St. James said that he preferred thinner fries (aka McDonald's style).  Guess I'll just have to keep experimenting until I get them right.  (Although for all you deep fryer users out there, do you keep your oil or toss it?  It seemed like such a waste to dump all that canola oil, but I did.  I'm thinking next time I might put the fryer bin in the garage frig...any thoughts?)


Wondering how all my fellow Doristas did with this week's assignment?  Check them out here (and leave them some love in their comments...they're working hard to keep us entertained, enlightened and hungry!)

22 comments:

Foodiva said...

Steph, looks like we have the same sense of humor....I used that 'to a T' phrase too, but never bothered to explain the joke behind it. Haha.. so glad you did, though. I bet the boys are feeling all warm and fuzzy from these steaks, and having a brill mom like you!

Kris' Kitchen said...

Great post...always love reading you. And, yes...keep the oil...can be reused a few times if kept clean...can even be strained through a cheese cloth if necessary.

jemangepdx said...

Nice job! I think your frites look good too ;-)

Christina said...

I always keep my oil for a few uses and just store it in a mason jar in the pantry.

yummychunklet said...

The photo of your sauce's swirl pre-stir is awesome. And, your steak looks delicious!

Lara B Knight said...

Yum yum yum! Looks wonderful!

Cher said...

Ah - a real "dude" pleaser, wasn't it? Looks great.
Wow, a deep fryer. I'm impressed :-)

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Everything looks beautiful to me... mandolin or no! :)

amanda @ fake ginger said...

Well I think everything looks delicious even if you weren't 100% happy with it. I'd have no problem scarfing down that plate! ;)

Denise said...

I broke out my little Fry Daddy, and have used it quite often. Try Pommes Souffle next time - really cute and fun! Your sauce looks like it came out much more flavorful than my original one, before I rescued it. Beautiful job.

Sis. Boom. said...

Your steak looks delicious and I love the sauce shot.

Ms. Hobby said...

So glad your boys loved the steak!

Betsy said...

Your plate looks like a restaurant meal! I'm scared to death of deep frying. Your frites look lovely. I've recently been making a recipe for roasted potatoes that are frites-like in taste, though not looks.
Your sauce looks much thicker than mine. I wonder if I didn't like the sauce because it was too thin? I was surprised by my disappointment. What's not to love about cream and flambed brandy?

Kathy said...

Steph, So glad your boys enjoyed the steak!! It was a favorite in our home too!! Love the photo of the steak with the peppercorns on it. I would prefer your fries any day over McD's!!

Susan said...

Beautiful post, Steph! I like the more rustic look of your fries - I'll be cutting mine by hand tonight as well. Your photos are so great - did you know that you can widen your post area so you can make them bigger? It's under Design/Templates/Adjust Width. I think you'll like that better! xoxo

Adriana said...

I think we've reused the oil maybe twice or three times if it stays clean, but covering it up with the fryer's lid or any other homemade contraption is a must. I love hand cut fries, but that's probably because that's how my Mom used to make them, all pretty but uneven.

tricia s. said...

My guys LOVED this one too. It always makes a French Friday all the more special when the family loves the results...and this one got knocked out the park. Plus they now recognize that "Dorie taught me how to cook steak"...or at least overcome my fear of ruining it. Nana took a pass this week but will be revisiting this one due to the amazing raves she kept hearing. Great post ~

Pacheco Patty said...

Beautiful steak and frites, very authentic. I like the rustic look of your french fries. My husband loved the steak prepared this way. I usually don't cook steak in butter and then add cream but it sure was good for a special meal;-)

Anne Marie said...

I think your fries look delicious! Since I'm looking at them on Saturday morning, I'm thinking they would make a good breakfast. Everything looks wonderful!

onewetfoot said...

Nice photos. It's great to try out a new appliance. So much fun.

Cakelaw said...

Your steak looks devine! Those fries look pretty good to me just as they are - how great to come across a deep fryer.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

I love how we all did fries to accompany this! Well done on a delicious Dorie meal!