You can use your favourite cut of steak here – I like ribeye because of the lovely marbling, which gives wonderful flavour and succulence to the meat. The polenta chips are made by adding grated Comté to the wet polenta, which is then left to cool and set, before being coated in dry polenta and fried until the outsides are crunchy and the insides are meltingly delicious. A little green salad on the side makes this a delicious meal.
- Line a 30cm x 20cm baking tray with baking parchment.
- Cook the polenta over a low heat according to the pack instructions until it is smooth and thick (timings may vary – the brand I use is Valsugana, which uses 1 litre of water for 250g polenta and takes about 8 minutes to cook – if it looks like it’s becoming too solid, add a splash more water as it cooks).
- Remove the polenta from the heat, add the butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring until each batch is incorporated, then add and stir in the Comté and season with salt and black pepper.
- Pour the polenta into the lined baking tray. Use a wet spatula to spread the polenta evenly and set it aside to cool before transferring it to the fridge to firm up for at least 2 hours.
- Turn the polenta out of the tay onto a chopping board and cut into about 30 chips, each about 10cm long and 2cm wide. Spread the remaining 75g polenta onto a plate and roll the chips in it, one by one, so they are coated on all sides.
- To cook the ribeye steak: remove the meat from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and preheat the oven to 180℃ fan / 200℃ normal. Trim away any sinew from the meat – don’t worry about trimming off the fat, as this gives the meat flavour and succulence. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat for a few minutes and rub a little sunflower oil, salt and black pepper all over the surface of the meat, then sear all sides in the griddle pan – you can tell when the meat is ready to turn over as it will “self-release” – wait until this point and do not try to “tear” it away from the pan before then. Transfer the meat to a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes – to check the “doneness”, you can use a meat thermometer: for rare, the thermometer should read 55℃ (reaching a temperature of 60℃ as it rests), for medium-rare 60℃ (reaching a temperature of 65℃ as it rests) and for medium 65℃ (reaching a temperature of 70℃ as it rests). Leave the meat to rest, covered loosely in aluminium foil, for 10 minutes before slicing onto a wooden board or gently warmed platter to serve.
- While the meat is cooking, start frying the chips: generously coat the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with sunflower oil and place on a high heat. When hot, carefully add some chips (you won’t be able to fit them all in as they shouldn’t be crowded, but how many depends on the size of your frying pan) and fry for a couple of minutes each side, turning them gently so they don’t break, until they are golden brown all over. Transfer the cooked chips to a warmed plate and set aside somewhere warm while you continue frying the remaining chips. (If you don’t want to eat all the chips, spread out any extras onto a plate lined with baking parchment before frying and freeze them. Once frozen, you can store them in a bag in the freezer and defrost them before frying).
- Serve the chips immediately with the ribeye and a green salad.
Recipe © Laura Pope