“I came across Yorkshire Wagyu when we set up my Manchester restaurant and its ace. It is grown just like the amazing Japanese beef and we can’t get enough of it (but a good fillet steak is fine here). Béarnaise sauce is the best with chips or beef. This is my treat when I’m home alone. Obviously, scale up the recipe to serve more people.” – James
- Flavourless vegetable oil (To deep fry)
- Unsalted butter (125g)
- Tarragon vinegar (3 tbsp)
- White wine (3 tbsp)
- White peppercorns (1/4 tsp)
- Small banana shallot, finely chopped (1/2)
- Egg yolks (3)
- Chopped tarragon leaves (1 tbsp)
- Lemon juice (1/2)
- Good fillet steak (1 x 200g)
- Frozen chips (100g)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Heat a deep-fat fryer to 190°C/375°F, or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
Put 100g of the butter into a small saucepan and set over a medium heat to melt fairly gently. Wait until it is liquid and all the impurities have risen to the top in a foam. Skim off all the foam. Leave until just tepid.
Place the vinegar, white wine, peppercorns and shallot into a separate small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the liquid nearly disappears, leaving only about 1 tbsp.
Put the egg yolks into a bowl, then set over a pan of simmering water and whisk until thickened and light in colour.
Gradually add the melted butter, drop by drop, whisking constantly. Once the mixture has emulsified, add it in a thin stream. You want a sauce that is about the same thickness as mayonnaise. Stop adding the butter just before you get to the white milky solids at the bottom of the pan (discard these).
Season the sauce with salt and pepper, add the cooled vinegar reduction and the chopped tarragon leaves and mix well. Taste and see if you want to add lemon juice. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the pan until ready to use. Don’t leave it too long, and work quickly.
Heat an ovenproof frying pan until searing hot, add the oil and steak then leave to cook on one side for two or three minutes before turning over and placing in the oven for two or three minutes more.
While the steak is in the oven, carefully lower the chips into the fat fryer and cook for three or four minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Remove the steak from the oven (make sure you wear an oven glove to protect your hands from the frying pan handle) and add the remaining butter to the pan, then spoon over the steak repeatedly for at least two or three minutes while the steak rests; this will give a lovely shine and add to the flavour.
Place the steak on a plate, pile the chips alongside then finish with a dollop of béarnaise.