Recipes, Steak Recipes

Porterhouse steak, peppercorn sauce & triple-cooked chips

Such a mighty steak deserves a mighty garnish, and here, in peppercorn sauce and triple-cooked chips, we have two of the mightiest steak garnishes going. A combination which is both simple and pure.

I feel, throughout all my time spent in the realm of food, that I have spent the perfect amount of it extolling the virtues of a good chip — that is to say, a lot of time. It cannot be overstated. When executed with care and attention, they are an art form, something to be recognised and properly understood. Much like good mashed potatoes, a good chip, and I mean a really good chip, is a hard thing to make. Perfectly crisp and golden on the outside and fluffy and steaming inside. This glorious porterhouse steak couldn’t ask for a better companion.

Factor into that equation a lake of peppercorn sauce, which I haven’t even had the chance to mention. It must surely be in the running for the title of superior steak sauce – and you are about to enter into a sort of heaven, as designed by a Parisian restaurateur. Writing this is making me really want to eat it!

Porterhouse steak in a peppercorn sauce sliced and cooked medium-rare. Served alongside triple-cooked chips and a side salad.

Serves 2


For the chips


First start with the chips:

  1. Cut the potatoes into the desired shape and size. This is purely a matter of preference. I like a medium-sized chip, not too chunky. Put them into a suitably sized pan and run them under the hottest water that your tap can produce. This is to wash away some of the starch from the potato. As they wash under the running water, move them around the pan. You will notice that the water is cloudy. Keep washing them until the water runs clean, then turn the tap to as cold as it will go and let it run for a minute.
  2. Tip away some of the water, so the pan isn’t too full, then season well with salt and set over a high heat. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chips. You want to find the sweet spot — cooked and offering up some fluffy edges, but not too far so that they are disintegrating.
  3. Carefully drain off the chips into a colander (too rough a touch here will smash up the chips too much) and then tip them, again with care, onto a flat tray and leave them to cool.
  4. Once cooled, place the tray in the fridge and leave for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, start the peppercorn sauce:

  1. Put the vinegar, 2 sprigs of thyme, ½ a shallot, and one teaspoon each of whole black, white, and pink peppercorns into a small pan and set over a medium heat to reduce. Once reduced by two thirds, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and set it over a medium to low heat with a good knob of butter. Add the remaining shallots, the garlic, 1 teaspoon each of black and white peppercorns (no need for the pink at this stage), and 4 sprigs of thyme, plus a good pinch of salt. Cook with a lid on, stirring regularly for 15 minutes, until soft and sweet but without too much colour.
  3. Turn the heat up and add the brandy. As the vapour rises off the pan, show it a flame and the brandy will flambee — watch your eyebrows!
  4. Once the flames have subsided, add the wine and reduce by three quarters. Then add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the stock has reduced by half.
  5. Next, add the cream and cook for a further 10-12 minutes.
  6. Pass the vinegar from earlier through a sieve and add to the sauce.
  7. Tip the sauce into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Then pass through a sieve back into a pan.
  8. Check for seasoning at this point and adjust as necessary.
  9. Add the green peppercorns and a further teaspoon of pink peppercorns.
  10. Try again and re-adjust the seasoning as necessary. If the consistency isn’t right, then rectify it by reducing further or letting it down with a little water or stock.

Return to the chips:

  1. Heat your fryer to 125°C, and in batches, ‘blanch’ the chips for 8 minutes. Lift out of the fryer, draining away as much excess oil as possible, and return to a tray.
  2. Once all the chips have been ‘blanched’, return them to the fridge whilst you cook your steak.
  3. Take the Porterhouse out of the fridge, remove packaging, pat dry with kitchen paper, pop on a plate and allow to reach room temperature.
  4. Preheat your oven to 170°C.
  5. Season the Porterhouse well with fine sea salt.
  6. Set a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet over a medium heat, with a tiny drizzle of oil. Take the steak and stand it up in the pan with the fat facing down to begin rendering some of the fat. You will need to use a pair of tongs to prevent it from falling over. Move the steak around, so that all of the fat spends some time rendering. Cook like this for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn the heat up and lay the steak on its side. Cook on a high heat without flipping for 1 minute, or until a nice golden crust has formed. Then flip the steak and repeat.
  8. Turn the heat down and add a knob of butter and baste the steak in the foaming butter. Flipping from one side to the other every 30 seconds. After 2 minutes, transfer the steak onto an oven-proof tray and place it in the oven, setting a timer for 2 minutes.
  9. Remove the tray from the oven and flip the steak. Return to the oven for a further 3-4 minutes.
  10. Remove the steak from the tray and leave it to rest on a plate, somewhere warm, for at least 15 minutes.
  11. Whilst the steak is resting, turn the fryer up to 185°C.
  12. Fry the chips in batches for about 5 minutes, or until golden, crispy, and delicious. Tip into a bowl lined with kitchen towel and season well with salt.

    Carve the rested steak, warm up the sauce and get stuck in!

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