According to Chef Bob, there is no better sauce than béarnaise, period. It is the savory version of ice cream—an eggy mixture that coats your taste buds in luxurious richness. Paired with frites and steak? C’mon, how good is that?
YIELD: 12 servings
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: mandoline or Japanese slicer, takeout chopsticks (or food tweezers), oil thermometer, fine-mesh strainer, blender
1 Russet potato, about 1 pound in weight and roughly 2 inches in diameter, peeled
2 cups vegetable oil
Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Slice the potato wafer-thin, no more than 1/16-inch thick, with a mandoline or Japanese slicer. Cut 2 parallel 1/2-inch slits into each slice, about 3/4 inch apart from each other. “Thread” the potato onto the end of a chopstick by gently poking the pointed end of the stick through each cut to hold it open.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart sauté pan until an oil thermometer registers 350˚F. Shallow-fry the potato on both sides until golden and crispy, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Gently pull out the chopsticks and repeat.
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
3 tablespoons white wine
4 tarragon sprigs
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped shallots
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz.) unsalted butter
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
Add the tarragon vinegar, wine, tarragon sprigs, pepper, and shallots to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until the liquid is reduced by a third.
Strain the liquid into a blender. Discard the tarragon sprigs, pepper, and shallots.
While the liquid is hot, add the egg yolks, then whole tablespoons of butter one at a time while blending until incorporated. By adding the eggs and butter slowly, the reduction and the friction from the machine will cook the eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
ASSEMBLE AND SERVE
6 oz. hanger steak
1 teaspoon Maldon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Slice the steak into 1 1/2-inch rectangles. Season each piece with salt and pepper.
Heat a heavy-bottomed stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the steak and cook until medium rare, about 3 minutes total.
Slice the steak into small pieces the same diameter as the chopsticks.
Then, thread the steak through the chip “pockets.”
Spoon a little béarnaise on top of each piece and garnish with tarragon. Serve immediately while warm.