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January 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized, Northwest European — ros @ 2:16 pm

steak bearnaise 

but oh, so good.

I’m aware that this blog is turning into a bit of a  red meat -fest. I make no apologies. This phase will probably wear off when it gets warmer.

Steak Bearnaise is my idea of treat food but at the moment treat food happens every time Goon visits. I really shouldn’t spoil him so much. In spite of my best efforts to get him to live like a civilised human being, Goon has reverted to eating ‘convenience’ food of the lowest order. By that I mean the sort of food that most of us would be reluctant to eat even if the only alternative was to chew off our own arm.

I’m serious! He eats tinned chicken curry on pasta. Or tinned steak and kidney pudding on pasta. Or tinned chilli on pasta. You think I’m joking? I didn’t believe it until I went around there and saw his bin.

Ah, well, at least he’s learned to cook pasta.

Even though these poor living conditions are entirely self inflicted, I feel the need to treat him when he comes to my place and, on school nights when I’m feeling uninspired, steak bearnaise is an obvious choice. It’s not cheap and it’s not healthy but it is tasty and  if the home made chips weren’t a safety issue, I could probably make it with my eyes shut.

Steak Bearnaise and Home Made Chips

  1. 2 sirloin steaks (200-250g each)
  2. 4 medium maris piper potatoes
  3. oil for deep frying

For the Bearnaise Sauce

  1. the yolks of 2 large eggs
  2. 100g unsalted butter
  3. tarragon vinegar - around 1 tbsp
  4. 1 level tbsp finely chopped tarragon

A green vegetable such as asparagus or green beans to serve

To make the sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a pan. .
  2. Bring a small pan half full of water to the boil
  3. Whisk the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl.
  4. Place the heat proof bowl on the pan so it is sitting above the boiling water
  5. Continue to whisk the eggs until they start to thicken, then trickle in the butter a little at a time while you keep whisking.
  6. When the sauce is smooth, fairly thick and light yellow, add the tarragon vinegar a little at a time. It pays to taste it after adding a teaspoon, to see that it isn’t becoming too tart.
  7. Finally stir in the chopped tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Take the water off the boil. The sauce can be left while you make other things but it needs to be whisked ocasionally to stop a skin forming on the top.

For the steak and chips 

  1. peel the potatoes and cut into large chips.
  2. Bing a pan of salted water to the boil. Boil the chips for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and set aside. 
  3. Rub the steaks with olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and cook on a griddle to your preferred taste. I got a griddle pan very hot, then cooked on one side for 30 seconds, turned the steak around by 90 degrees then cooked it on the same side for another 30 seconds. then I turned the steak over and did the same on the other side.
  4.  Wrap in foil and keep at room temperature for about ten minutes.
  5. While the steaks are resting fill a large sauce pan one third full of sunflower oil. Heat over almost full power for two or three minutes. Keep a large plate covered with two or three layers of kitchen towel ready to drain the chips on.
  6. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a cube of bread in. It should sizzle and go brown in anbout 1 minute.
  7. Remove the bread cube with a slotted spoon and discard. Add the chips in batches to the oil. Remove with a slotted metal spooon as they turn golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and allow to drain completely.

Serve each steak with the chips, a green vegetable and a big dollop of sauce. Garnish with extra tarragon. 


  1. You missed off the Pizza as well!

    Comment by Andy Millar — January 31, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

  2. I know what you mean about the meat-fest, we’re going through the same thing at the moment. Roll on Spring!

    I’ve never tried to make bernaise but I do love it. I always cheat with the chips too, yours look brilliant.

    Comment by Ginger — January 31, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  3. Where would Andy be without you, Ros? But I have to say it’s about time you acquired a cooking thermometer. Cook the chips twice - first time at 160C while the steak is cooking and the second time at 180C while the steak is resting. Parfait!

    Comment by Trig — January 31, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  4. Looks great! Being paranoiid about hot oil, I now always do chips in a hot oven, after I’ve cut them up I put them in a bowl, bit of oil, give them a rub, on a tray and that’s it. My husband loves me a lot but I know he’d love me more if we had a red meat fest!

    Comment by Amanda — February 1, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  5. I know how you feel about the meat fest - I keep saying I’ll eat healthier, but… well… never mind. You can’t beat a good bit of steak!

    Comment by Lizzie — February 2, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

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