Tri-tip steak frites with red wine sauce

(Food Styling/Kay Chun; Romulo Yanes/Gourmet)
October 14, 2009

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Serves 4

28 to 30 ounces frozen french fries
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tri-tip beef roast (also called triangular roast, about 2-inches thick), cut into 4 steaks
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
1. Set the oven at 475 degrees. Slide a rimmed baking sheet onto the lower third of the oven.

2. On the hot sheet, toss the fries with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake the fries according to package directions until crisp and golden.

3. Pat the steaks dry. Rub with peppercorns and salt.

4. In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sear steaks on all sides, about 3 minutes total. Transfer skillet to upper third of the oven (it’s OK if the potatoes are on the lower third) and finish cooking the steaks for 9 to 10 minutes for medium-rare meat, a few minutes longer for pink meat. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and let them rest for 5 minutes.

5. Add the wine to the skillet. Over high heat, let the mixture bubble up, scraping the browned bits, until it reduces by half. Add the water and meat juices from the plate. Let the mixture reduce by half again. Whisk the butter into the sauce until it is incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle fries with tarragon, if using. Serve steaks with sauce and fries. Adapted from Gourmet, October 2009