Cast Iron Porterhouse with Bérnaise, French Fried Potatoes & Green Beans
We don’t make or eat a lot of red meat, but when we do, we want it to be special, like when we make this easy cast iron skillet-fried porterhouse with a simple Béarnaise sauce, which helps to brighten the whole dish. We pair the steak with homemade hand-cut French fries, which are perfect for dipping in Béarnaise, and we usually add a green bean side dish sautéed with shallots and garlic, and sometimes a bit of small green zucchini to add sweetness. (Sean worked as a short-order cook in college, and he used to hand-make three hundred pounds of potatoes per day. He still uses the same recipe he picked up during those years, calling for hand-cut potatoes fried twice.) The trick, if you can call it that, is getting everything off the stove top at the right moment, so we pre-prep all three dishes, and prepare the Béarnaise sauce first and set it aside in the fridge while we fry the steaks and potatoes and sauté the green beans. Bon apetit!
We love to pair our 2014 Crosby's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with this steak dinner. The soft but concentrated wine compliments the porterhouse perfectly!
- A cast iron 12”-skillet
- A meat thermometer
- An immersion blender
- Something to deep fry potatoes with: we use a 3-quart sauce pan with a 6-quart fry basket, but a deep fryer would work just as well
Ingredients for the steaks:
- Two thick-cut porterhouse steaks, at least 2" thick
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Ingredients for the French fries:
- Four large russet potatoes
- About 8 cups of vegetable oil
Ingredients for the Béarnaise Sauce:
- 2 tbsp dry white wine
- 2 tbsp Champagne vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, minced
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Ingredients for the green beans:
- 1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 small green zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 bulb garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Pre-prep & make the sauce:
- Season the steaks liberally with salt, set aside.
- Prep the French fries:
- Skin the potatoes
- Cut the potatoes into 1cm-thick slices, then into 1cm-cube sticks
- Wash the cut potatoes in cold water, making sure to rinse off as much starch as possible, then pat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towels
- Set the potatoes to the side
- Bring your cooking oil to 350 degrees in your fry pan
- Working in batches, fry the potatoes for 5 minutes, just until they start to take on a bubbly appearance and brown only lightly at the edges, then remove them from oil and set aside.
Prepare the sauce:
- Combine the dry white wine, Champagne vinegar, and 1 tbsp fresh minced tarragon leaves in a small saucepan.
- On medium heat, reduce the vinegar mixture for two minutes, or until the shallots are translucent, then set aside to cool.
- Melt the butter
- Meanwhile, place the 2 large egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk in the vinegar tarragon and blend briefly with the handheld immersion blender on high
- Next, add the remaining 1 tbsp. tarragon and slowly add the melted butter to the egg mixture with the immersion blender on high. (It may take a couple minutes to blend fully; make sure to incorporate all the solids.)
- Let the sauce chill in the refrigerator as you prepare the rest of the meal.
Prep the green beans:
- Thinly slice the shallot and garlic, then set aside
- Bring 1 quart of water to a boil, and blanch the green beans for three minutes.
- Remove the beans from the boiling water and run under cold water. Then set aside.
- Meanwhile, slice the zucchini on a bias roughly ¼ inch thick, set aside.
Now that you have everything prepped, it’s time to put it all together! Sauté the steaks at the same time as you re-fry the potatoes and sauté the green beans.
- Bring the oil for the fries back up to 350F and pre-heat the oven to 450F.
- Working in batches, re-fry the potatoes until they are golden brown.
- When done, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- As each batch of potatoes is finished, transfer them to paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt, then incorporate into them into the previously cooked batches.
- As your potatoes are cooking, bring your cast iron skillet up to high heat with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. When the oil starts to smoke, sauté the steaks 4 minutes per side, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven at 450F for 2 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the steaks every two minutes until it reaches 125F. Then remove the steaks from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes.
- As the steaks are cooking, bring a medium sauté pan up to medium-high heat. Add olive oil. After a minute, add shallots, garlic, zucchini, and green beans. Sauté, turning consistently, until the shallots and garlic have browned and the zucchini has softened and lightly browned. Cook the green beans to taste … we prefer them still a little crunchy. When they are done according to your preference, remove immediately from the heat, and top with coarse sea salt and a cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.