Sometimes you make a dish because you need to use what is in your refrigerator, and sometimes you make a dish because you have a craving, or you want to try something new, or you need something quick. But there are certain times when you want to make something really great for someone. This is one of those dishes.
A Pedro steak is a tri-tip that is butterflied so that it’s thickness is even throughout. You could also use a flat iron steak or pretty much anything you want.
Start by preparing the fries, err pommes frites. Yeah, that sounds fancier. While you are cutting them into 1/4 inch juliennes, think about how nice it would be to own one of those french fry cutters they use in restaurants. It’s better if they are not perfect anyway, but try to get them the same size so they are all done frying at the same time.
Immerse them in water for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible. 4 hours is fine if you do not tend to plan ahead.
Now let’s rub the steaks. Combine 1/2 cups coarsely ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons cayenne, 1/2 cups dark chili powder. Or just regular chili powder. I don’t know because I don’t see color, just what’s inside.
Season the steaks on all sides liberally with kosher salt, and then rub in the rub. Really get in there, Pedro has had a long day.
Now we’ll make the chimichurri. This is a staple recipe to have around for everything. It’s one of those secrets to have on hand that make people thing you are this amazing kitchen wizard when you put it on a burger, but really is very easy to make.
First chop up 3/4 cups of parsley and 3 tbsp of cilantro.
Then finely mince 6 garlic cloves.
Add 1/2 tsp each of salt and black pepper and finally about 1/2 tsp of crush red pepper flakes.
Pour in 1/3 cups each of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Stir lovingly and set aside for later.
Now we will char the tomatoes. I use a cast iron skillet, but you can really use a grill, or stainless steel pan if that is what you have. Just don’t use a non-stick pan or you’ll get the cancer. Turn the fire all the way up until your pan is ludicrously hot, and then drop in 5 roma tomatoes.
As they screech and sizzle, the sides will turn black. Turn them so that all sides get black, but be patient or you’ll just end up with melted tomatoes.
Place them in a bowl and let them cool back down to room temperature.
Once you can touch them without sacrificing your fingerprints, quarter them lengthwise. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, 1 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Stir gingerly and set aside for the final assembly.
Has it been 4 hours yet? Let’s fry up the fren- uh, pommes frites. Drain the water from the potatoes and make sure they are dry. Otherwise when you put them in the oil, they will pop and splash right into your face, which will really affect your enjoyment of this dish.
The magic to a great french fry is to fry it twice. First, fry it in 250 degree peanut oil for about 6 minutes. Do this in batches so that your oil does not get too cold. You want the outside to start to turn white, but definitely not brown.
Do all of the fries and set aside on a draining rack. Then turn the oil up to 350 degrees, and run them through again in batches. This time they are done when they are golden brown and look like fries that you want to eat. Remove them to a draining rack and season them with kosher salt. You can leave them in a 200 degree oven while you are finishing the rest of the dish to keep them warm.
Next we’ll do the clams. First dice 2 linguiça links, which seems like a weird first step to preparing clams, but work with me.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the linguiça and brown. Then add 1 tbsp of minced garlic.
Then quickly add 20 clams. You really only need 16, but the mortality rate amongst young clams these days is just staggering. I blame television.
Then immediately add 1 can of lager-style beer. Or a bottle if you prefer. Just not from a keg because that would be really hard to lift. Cover them and allow them to steam for a few minutes until most of them have opened. Sadly, the ones that did not open were dead and should be thrown away. Let’s have a moment of silence for them.
Remove from the heat and give the rest a quick stir, and then add 2 ounces of beer from another can. You can drink the rest. Stir in 1/2 cups of the chimichurri you made earlier, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and the juice from 1 lime. Add a little salt and pepper if you feel like getting crazy.
Grill the steaks to your desired temperature, which is hopefully no more than medium rare. For Pedro steaks, that is about 3 minutes on one side, then flip for 3 minutes, then flip and repeat again. Allow the steaks to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting them.
To plate, spoon the clams and sauce on the plate first. Place a handful of frites over the sauce, and then place the sliced steak on the frites. Spoon the charred tomatoes over the top and serve with a lime wedge.
Beautiful! This one will impress anyone, I promise.