How to Make the Perfect Steak

by Scott Wagner

Nobody does it better than the French 

As part of our research about how to best cook a steak, we spoke with a particularly well-traveled man with an encyclopedic knowledge of Michelin starred eateries who, most indignantly, proclaimed that there is only one way to prepare a proper steak: The French way

Classic Steak Frites is what he meant (steak and fries) and it’s served at brasseries all over Paris including the upscale restaurant named after the prime rib-eye cut. The dish is made with—Le Relais de L’Entrecôte, a deceptively simple recipe that calls for little more than seasoned meat and a buttered pan. It takes patience to get the flavors just right and requires a sense of timed precision that only comes with dedicated practice. 

Steak cooking in frying pan
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Ingredients (serves two): 

  • 3 large potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 10 ounce rib-eye steaks
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • Sea salt 
  • Black pepper 



  • Peel the potatoes and slice lengthwise to ¼ inch thick pieces
  • Soak pieces in ice water for 15 minutes
  • In a large saucepan heat 2-3 inches of oil to 325℉
  • Remove potato pieces from ice and blot dry
  • Fry potato pieces in batches for 5 minutes per batch
  • Set each batch aside on paper towel to dry as they are ready (fries should be golden, not brown)


  • Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides
  • Heat a large pan to 248℉ (smoking point) and add butter to melt
  • Place steaks in pan and brown for 3-4 minutes on each side until rare (Cook longer if desired)
  • Plate steaks and serve with frites

Editor’s Note: Photos by Nanxi wei on Unsplash

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