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Steak Frites with Red Wine Vinegar Demi-Glace Beurre

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Chef Jonathon Sawyer is preparing a delicious dish out of his cookbook, "House of Vinegar."
Ingredients

Ingredients for Steak

  • Two 8-ounce bistro steaks, trimmed; trim reserved and diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups Côtes du Rhône red wine
  • 1 cup Old-School Red Wine Vinegar (RECIPE BELOW – or use a good quality Italian or Spanish red wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup rich dark stock, demi-glace, or roasted beef or chicken stock that has been reduced by half
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 recipe The Greenhouse Tavern’s Proper Pommes Frites (Recipe Below)

Ingredients for The Greenhouse Tavern's Proper Pommes Frites

  • 2 large Idaho russet potatoes
  • 1⁄2 gallon fry oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ketchup

Materials for Old School Red Wine Vinegar (Makes 1 quart)

  • 1-quart widemouthed glass container
  • Cheesecloth or paper towel
  • Rubber band or butcher’s twine
  • pH test strips (optional)

Ingredients for Old School Red Wine Vinegar )Save the wine bottle and cork and use them to bottle and age your vinegar)

  • One 750-ml bottle red wine, 6% to 12% ABV, the best that you can afford

Steak Frites with Red Wine Vinegar Demi-Glace Beurre - Home & Family

Directions for Steak

1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours before cooking.

2. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, render the steak trim with a few tablespoons of water, stirring frequently, until almost burnt, about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Strain and reserve all the beef fat. Transfer all the browned beef trim to a large stainless-steel saucepan and cover with the wine and 3⁄4 cup of the vinegar.

3. Set the saucepan over medium- high heat, reduce the liquid by half, then add the stock, shallot, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and position your pan on the burner so it simmers just on one side of the pan. Reduce the liquid by three- fourths, 1 to 2 hours, skimming off the impurities that bubble to the surface. Strain and transfer the sauce to a small saucepan, stir in the remaining 1⁄4 cup vinegar, and set over low heat to keep warm.

4. Place the cast-iron skillet in the oven (no need to wipe the skillet clean) and preheat to 500°F.

5. When the oven is fully heated, carefully remove the pan and set it on a burner over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the rendered beef fat and the steaks and sear. Once the first sides are brown, about 3 minutes, flip each steak, add another 1 tablespoon rendered fat, place the skillet in the oven, and cook the steak to your desired doneness; for a big bistro steak, the total cooking time is less than 10 minutes for medium. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes.

6. Return to the warm sauce and whisk in the butter, a little bit at a time, to achieve a fully emulsified sauce.

7. Slice the steaks as desired, dress with the sauce, and plate them with the pommes frites. Serve immediately.

Directions for Pommes Frites

1. Cut the potatoes into 1⁄4-inch-thick rectangular batons and immediately submerge them in a large bowl of water to cover for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, depending on your level of commitment (the longer the soak, the better the fry).

2. Pour the fry oil into a deep pot; leave enough room so the oil won’t spill over when the potatoes are added. Heat the oil to 275°F on an instant-read thermometer.

3. Line two baking sheets with a double thickness of paper towel.

4. Drain the potatoes into a colander, rinse under cold water until the water runs clear, and then dry them thoroughly. Add the potatoes to the oil and blanch them for 6 minutes, then transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets to drain.

5. Generously season the fries with salt, and let them rest uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This forms a pellicle of outer flesh on the fry, yielding it more crispy than soggy. Leave the oil in the pot, cover with a lid, and reserve.

6. The next day, reheat the oil to 350°F on an instant-read thermometer.

7. Add the fries in batches, cold and straight from the refrigerator, to the oil, not overcrowding the pot, and cook until they achieve a crispy golden outside and airy potato center, 5 to 6 minutes. (To know if you’ve got the airy center, eat one in order to test it.) Season with salt. Serve immediately with ketchup.

Directions for Red Wine Vinegar

1. Wash the glass container in hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

2. Pour the wine into the container. Cover the container’s opening with cheesecloth, securing
it with a rubber band, to keep out debris.

3. Let the container sit in a cool, dry, and dark place for 2 weeks. Then, give the wine a taste; if
it’s sharp, tangy, and sour, it’s now vinegar. (It’s perfectly okay to taste; no pathogens can
survive in either the alcohol or the vinegar.) If you prefer, you can also judge the progress of
your vinegar by using pH strips; we shoot for a reading of 4 or below on the pH scale.

VARIATION
You can actually make any type of white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar, or rice vinegar with the appropriate wine, champagne, sherry, or sake.

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