Add An Extra Crunch To Your Steak With Fried Herbs

Steak has stood the test of time for obvious reasons. It is succulent, flavorful, satisfying, and relatively simple to prepare. However, even the most perfectly cooked meat can sometimes fall victim to monotony. While many enthusiasts swear by the classic approach of building a deep crust on the exterior, even employing the use of dry rubs to build flavor and texture, there's an intriguing avenue yet to be fully explored — the addition of a crispy, herbaceous crunch. 

Taking the plunge into the world of crispy herbs involves a straightforward yet transformative process. Fresh herbs, chosen to complement the steak's profile are submerged in hot oil or butter. The sizzle and aroma that ensue are the prelude to a delightful outcome. Once the herbs begin to curl and bronze, they're plucked from the scalding fat and given a quick drain on paper towels to ensure they maintain their newfound crunchiness.

The art of enhancing beef with fried herbs extends beyond the basic technique, delving into the realm of pairing specific herbs with different cuts to create unique and memorable flavor combinations. That said, there is no right way to proceed, and the culinary exploration afforded by the addition of the technique to your repertoire is a big component of the draw.

Pairing herbs and steaks

For those yearning for an Italian-tinged steak, imagine the aroma of crispy rosemary needles adorning a bistecca alla fiorentina. This mammoth, bone-in cut of beef, generally comprises both a sirloin and filet grilled over coals to obtain a burnished crust. The addition of fragrant rosemary adds an earthy, somewhat piney depth. And while the rosemary sputters in the fat, consider browning and crisping some thinly sliced garlic alongside for an even more complex flavor.

Fajitas are another favorite that benefits from this pairing. Tex-Mex enthusiasts can revel in the marriage of crunch and spice by sprinkling crispy fried oregano over sizzling skirt steak. The robust, slightly citrusy notes of oregano playfully dance with the boldness of the meat and contrast well with caramelized onions and peppers.

As the seasons change, so do our culinary cravings. Embrace the spirit of fall by draping a butter-basted bone-in ribeye with fried sage leaves. The combination of the rich, buttery beef and the aromatic, slightly sweet sage captures the essence of autumn, making every mouthful a celebration of seasonal abundance.

Whether you lean towards the warmth of rosemary and garlic, the zest of oregano, or the autumnal charm of sage, each herb offers a unique sensory experience that transforms a simple meal into a culinary masterpiece. So, next time you fire up the grill or heat the pan, consider adding fried herbs to your steak.