We Americans sure do love our burgers and fries, but if you’re looking to elevate your palette, chef Quang “Q” Nguyen invites you to try his recipe for the European brasserie staple, steak frites.
Nguyen serves as executive chef at Cool World bar and restaurant, a new neighborhood bistro concept serving hearty and healthy meals in Brooklyn, New York City. The menu features an array of delectable dishes that nod to ‘90s brasserie favorites, as well as Nguyen’s own childhood in Louisiana and Texas, and his Vietnamese heritage.
This recipe for steak and fries can be made to fit your preferred cut of beef, but chef uses the teres major, a steak closer to the shoulder of the cow.
“It eats like a tenderloin but has a bit more fat which leads to more flavor,” he says. “I’d season it with salt and pepper, and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour before cooking it. At Cool World, we like a heavy-duty cast iron or blue carbon steel pan for even heat distribution and good retention.”
Chef Nguyen also employs a secret weapon he calls “tasty paste” to give the brown butter sauce extra flavor.
“This is an ingredient that we make in-house,” he says. “It has over 15 ingredients and requires some time roasting, cooking, blending and passing through a chinois. It’s a tomato-based condiment made with a lot of charred allium and some liquids that bring a lot of umami to the party. To save you guys the trouble, I would just take A-1 steak sauce and cook it down to about 60 percent of its original volume and use it in place of Tasty paste. It should be high in umami, and a bit intense in flavor.”
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If you’re looking to shock your guests with some award-winning flavor, this recipe is sure to be a game changer without forcing you to get a degree in the culinary arts. You’ll definitely learn something from the experience, and you’ll be back for more.
“Be generous with the sauce,” chef Nguyen says. “It’s made to pair well with the meat and the fries. Happy cooking!”
Brown Butter Shiro Dashi (Brown Butter Bearnaise Sauce):
Pre-sauce making prep:
Tasty paste replacement
To make the sauce
To make the steak and fries
Visit Cool World in NYC and online for more delicious dishes and inspiration.
Photography by: Max Flatow