Classic steak frites and Béarnaise sauce

This classic dish of steak and fried potatoes served with Béarnaise sauce is quick and easy to make. Sean Gravina gives his step by step instructions. 

Classic steak frites and Béarnaise sauce


  • 50ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 beef sirloin steaks (300g each)
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 bunch watercress leaves, to garnish 

Fried potatoes

  • 16 kipfler potatoes (700g)
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 50g butter, diced

Béarnaise sauce

  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 golden shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 4 sprigs French tarragon, plus 2 tbsp finely chopped extra
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 5 tsp rosemary
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 100ml clarified butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped



  1. To make the fried potatoes, cover kipflers in a saucepan with salted water and boil over medium-high heat until just cooked (10-12 mins).
  2. Drain and set aside to cool (1 hour).
  3. Halve potatoes lengthways and place in a large frying pan over medium-high heat with oil and garlic and fry until golden and crisp (5-6 mins).
  4. Add herbs and butter and toss potatoes to coat, then remove from pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  5. To make the béarnaise sauce, place vinegar, shallot, tarragon sprigs, bay leaf and peppercorns in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced by two-thirds (2-3 mins).
  6. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside to cool (40 mins; discard solids).
  7. Combine egg yolks and 25ml reduction in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water).
  8. Whisk mixture, rotating bowl occasionally, until pale and thick (2 mins), then remove from heat and place bowl on a wet tea towel to hold it steady.
  9. Add clarified butter in a thin steady stream while whisking continuously until butter is incorporated and mixture thickens slightly.
  10. Season to taste, then fold in herbs and keep in a warm place.
  11. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, season steaks and fry until cooked to your liking (4 mins on one side, then turn and cook for another 2 mins for medium-medium rare).
  12. Add butter to pan and cook, basting meat with butter as it melts, to your liking (2 mins to cook steaks medium).
  13. Rest steaks on a rack over a baking tray in a warm place for 4 mins before serving.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, on 8 July, 2016.

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