4boneless ribeye steaks7 oz/200 g each, around 1 inch/2.5 cm thick
1teaspoonflaky sea salt
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Mayonnaise and/or ketchup
Make the fries:
Slice the potatoes lengthwise (there’s no need to peel them but do scrub them well) into about 1/2-inch-wide (1 cm) sticks. Don’t worry if some of them are shorter than others. The most important thing is that they are more or less the same width.
Place the potato sticks in a large bowl of cold water for 1 hour, making sure the water completely covers the potatoes. This will remove the starch, prevent them from sticking together and help them crisp up nicely in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Drain the potato sticks in a large colander. Place a few sheets of paper towel on a countertop and lay the potato sticks in a single layer. Cover with a few more sheets of paper towel and gently pat them dry. It’s important to dry the potatoes as much as you can, otherwise they won’t crisp up when you bake them.
Place the potato sticks in a large bowl and pour the oil over them, then sprinkle the salt, chili powder (if using) and pepper over top. Using your hands, mix everything well to make sure the potatoes are evenly coated with the oil and spices.
Lay the potato sticks in a single layer on each baking tray. Place one tray on the top rack of the oven and the other on the bottom rack. Bake for 1 hour, switching the trays from the top to the bottom of the oven and rotating them 180 degrees halfway through, as well as flipping the potatoes with a flat spatula so they crisp up and cook evenly. After an hour, the frites should be crispy and golden. If not, leave them in the oven, but check every 5 minutes, until they are done.
While the potatoes are baking, prepare the steak:
Rub the steaks all over with the salt and pepper. Place them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until about 20 minutes before you are going to use them, so about 40 minutes into cooking the potatoes. You can pan-sear, broil or grill your steaks. Here we’re going to pan-
sear them, so you’ll need to heat the pan just before you’re ready to use it. Place a grill pan (preferably a cast-iron skillet with a ribbed base to make “grill” marks) over medium-high heat and add the oil.
Once the oil is hot enough, add your steaks—you should hear an audible “sssssss” when you add the meat if the pan is hot enough— and cook for 3 minutes on each side. The internal temperature as measured with a meat thermometer will be 155˚F (68˚C) when you take it off the heat and 160˚F (71˚C) after it has rested. Remove the steaks from the grill pan and place them on a (preferably pre-warmed) plate and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Serve the steak with mustard on the side and the fries with ketchup and mayonnaise on the side.
This might seem like a lot of potatoes to slice up into such precisely sized sticks, but it’s a great activity for kids.Tell them why it’s important to slice the sticks consistently, and talk them through the process of soaking them to remove the starch. I find that if kids know why they are doing something, it’s more meaningful and they’re more likely to follow the instructions. Cooking is all about actions and consequences. Maybe they don’t slice the sticks very evenly—leave it be, unless the differences are really marked, and show them once they are cooked how some of the fries are too crispy and some aren’t done enough. Got younger budding chefs? Drying the potato sticks post-soak on paper towels, patting them dry with more paper towels and coating them with the oil and spice mix in a large bowl is a good way to involve younger children who might not be quite ready to work with knives.