For Perfect Steak Frites, Timing Is Everything

Steak frites is a meal that is so simple that it's almost surprising how satisfying it is. On paper it's just a steak paired with fries, but there is something about the juxtaposition of flavor and texture between the crispy, crunchy frites and the rich, sumptuous steak that's a match made in heaven. Originating in France and Belgium, per Britannica, this no-frills dish can be found on bistro menus worldwide.

Though steak frites can be intimidating to make at home, in truth, it's all about timing. Frying perfect frites can be hard enough, but doing so while making sure your steak cooks to your desired temperature adds another challenge. Overcook your steak and the dish isn't the same; Under or over-fry your potatoes and be prepared to don a sad face. So how to make sure your frites come out crispy and hot while achieving a perfectly cooked steak? There's a simple trick that you can employ.

Cold oil fry the frites

When it comes to making steak frites at home, the first think you want to be sure of is that you have the right kind of potatoes: a high-starch variety like Russet potatoes are a solid option. Next up, you'll want to make sure you have your desired cut of steak ready to go at room temperature. (Britannica explains that classically the dish uses a rump steak, but you can really pair the starchy side with any cut you prefer.) You will want to start your frites 30 minutes before you plan to eat — but here's the important tip that ensures both vital halves of your meal are done at the same time.

Per America's Test Kitchen, you'll want to start your fries in cold oil in a Dutch oven, making sure they're dried thoroughly for best results (via The Washington Post). As the oil heats up, the potatoes cook with it, crisping up to perfection with virtually no work from you. While your frites are going through their 30 minutes of cook time, you'll be busy seasoning, cooking, and resting the steak.

Employ the cold oil frying method the next time you make steak frites, and you won't even have to fly to Europe to enjoy this decadent meal.