Argentina might be famous for its open-fire asados, but lately Argentinian native and Amalia Executive Chef Hernan Griccini has been bringing heat of a different kind. Curry, to be exact: a curveball that he came up with while cooking at a beachside event in Mallorca and that led to a ridiculously good steak frites recipe.
“We had all the flavors we wanted in the dish, but lacked spice,” he says. “So we decided to combine some of the spices and other ingredients we had on hand with the butter, in order to achieve an umami flavor that would really complete the dish.”
Butter and curry are thus blended with Dijon mustard, capers, parsley, paprika and both orange and lemon juice to create the deceptively simple condiment. It lends a massive hit of flavor to what, with Griccini’s heritage, could only be a kick-ass steak frites.
“I always try to showcase all the gastronomic influences I’ve had in my life, such as my culinary experience abroad,” he says, “but I always carry the one from my homeland in Argentina.”
True to form, his steak frites recipe begins with brushing the filet steak in butter and seasoning it with pepper before giving it time to temper. He then cooks it over a searing hot charcoal grill, which lends a smoky flavor to the steak and serves to seal and caramelize the meat. Accompanied by hand-cut fries and a sweet-and-savory red onion marmalade, it’s a wow-worthy rendition of a classic that suits the Mediterranean-with-a-twist vibe of the kitchen he helms at Miami Beach’s Lennox Hotel. And since both the curry butter and the onion marmalade can be made in advance, this recipe is pretty much the perfect thing to make for date night when you want to impress. (Especially if you make your life even easier and opt for a thick-cut potato chip topping in lieu of fries. Frites are sexy; the smell of frying oil in your apartment, maybe less so.)
Either way, you’ll have your lucky dinner guest mopping up every last drop of that oh-so-moreish curry butter with the steak frites recipe below.
Steak Frites with Curry Butter and Onion Marmalade
For the onion marmalade
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup red wine
- ½ cup port
- 2 tablespoons wildflower honey
For the curry butter
- 3 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 10 capers
- 1½ tablespoons parsley, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 oranges
- 1 teaspoon paprika
For the steak
- 1 8-ounce tenderloin steak
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Black pepper, to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
For the frites
- 2 Russet potatoes
- Frying oil
- Make the onion marmalade. In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat, and cook the onions and bay leaf together for 30 minutes. Add the wines, and reduce by half. Add the honey and reduce until a thick marmalade consistency forms. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Make the curry butter. Mix together all the ingredients until homogenous. Set aside.
- Brush the steak with the melted butter, and season with pepper. Let the steaks come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and slice lengthwise ¼-inch thick. Cut the slices into ¼-inch-wide fries, and soak in ice water for 15 minutes.
- In a deep-fryer or a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 325° F. Drain the potatoes and blot them completely dry. Divide the potatoes into four batches, and fry each batch until cooked through but not browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried potatoes to paper towels to drain.
- Light a grill. Generously season the steaks with salt, and grill over a hot fire for 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Alternatively, pan-fry the steaks over moderately high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
- Reheat the oil to 375° F. Fry the potatoes until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the frites to fresh paper towels to drain.
- Top the steak with a spoonful of the curry butter and onion marmalade. Serve the frites on the side.
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