Steak Frites with Smashed Duck Fat Potatoes

Yield Serves 2
RECIPE Ingredients

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Recipe notes
This variation on a bistro classic relies on duck fat to perfectly crisp the surface of crash potatoes – a cross between french fries and fluffy baked potatoes. The recipe can make 2 servings or be expanded by using the whole sirloin flap for a party of 8 – be sure to increase the number of potatoes appropriately.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Scrub creamer potatoes under cold water. Place washed potatoes in a saucepot with thyme, crushed garlic, cold water, and enough salt to make water slightly salty (like pasta water). Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are slightly tender. Drain and cool. Discard thyme and garlic.
  2. Once cool, use a meat mallet or side of a chef knife to gently smash the potatoes so they flatten slightly but hold together.
  3. Open package of sirloin flap, discard any excess juice and pat dry. Open muscle if folded and lay on a cutting board. Always keep cutting board secure on the countertop; a moist paper towel underneath will prevent the board from sliding.
  4. Please note it is normal for this cut to taper at the ends, and one side will have more fat than the other. On the side with less fat begin with a small section 1” by 4” and use a boning or utility knife (rounded point end) to insert underneath the fat/silver skin. With the blade facing away from you, allowing the blade to do the work, push knife away from you while it slices and separates the silver skin from the meat. While holding the flap of silver skin/fat taut, use blade of knife to separate the rest by carefully pulling blade in a slicing motion towards you, separating the silver skin/fat. Discard. Repeat this process until most of the silver skin and large chunks of fat are removed on both sides of the muscle. It’s not necessary to remove all of the fat; leave some to add flavor as the small pieces will render and baste the meat during cooking process.
  5. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  6. Once steak is trimmed, cut muscle into approximately 8 steaks, each of which will be about 6-7oz. each. If not using all 8, wrap and store some for later use.
  7. Season each steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil) in an 8” sauté pan on high heat. Once oil is slightly smoking, add seasoned steak carefully and sear on all sides until a deep-brown crust forms.
  8. Remove steaks from sauté pan and place on a sheet pan lined with foil. Place steaks in oven for about 5 mins or until they reach 135 degrees F, or medium-rare. Remove and let them rest.
  9. While steaks are in the oven, add bacon lardons to the same pan used for the steaks. Render on medium heat until brown and crispy on the outside. Remove from pan and lay on paper towel.
  10. Increase heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon duck fat. Carefully place a single layer of smashed creamer potatoes in pan. Let them brown on one side for approximately 3 minutes. Turn over to brown the other side. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or tongs. Place potatoes on individual plates, or a platter for family-style, and garnish with chives and bacon.
  11. After steak has rested for 5 minutes, slice against the grain about ¼” to ½” thick. Serve alongside the smashed potatoes.

Note: Serving more than two people? Use the whole pack of sirloin flap to serve a group of 8 people. Or wrap extra and keep in the freezer for the next time you want a steak dinner. The remainder of slab bacon can be portioned into 3oz portions, wrapped, and tightly stored in freezer for late use. Just pull out a pack or two when you need some bacon.