February 21, 2023

Ask A Chef: Blair Lebsack’s Seared Denver Steak with Potato Pavé

Recipe: Blair Lebsack

Blair Lebsack of Rge Rd in Edmonton shares his recipe for Seared Denver Steak with Potato Pavé.

Q: Recently, I had the best steak dish at Rge Rd. I know it has a butcher shop on-site, but what type of meat do I buy, and how do I recreate the rest of the dish? — Clare, Edmonton

A: When picking a cut of beef, Blair suggests thinking beyond tenderloin. “I like to celebrate the lesser-known cuts and appreciate them for their fantastic flavor and texture,” he says. One of the chef’s favorites is the Denver steak — a beef chuck cut that has natural tenderness and great marbling. If you can’t find a Denver cut, he says a rib eye is the next best thing. After a simple searing, the steak is topped with Blair’s special emulsion — a deliciously smoky sauce of rendered beef fat, vinegar and egg yolk.

Send your questions to [email protected].


Smoked Beef Tallow Emulsion

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1⁄2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp smoked beef tallow, melted
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed canola oil
  • Salt

Potato Pavé

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Steak Dish

  • 1 3⁄4 lbs. Denver steak, cut into four 1 1⁄4″-thick portions
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1⁄4 cup chives, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, halved
  • Small onion
  • Potato Pavé (see above)
  • Smoked Beef Tallow Emulsion (see above)


Yield: Serves 4

Make Beef Tallow Emulsion

  1. Whisk together egg yolk, vinegar and water.
  2. Slowly add in tallow and oil, and season to taste. Set aside.

Make Potato Pavé

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel and thinly slice onion. Peel potatoes and trim each into an approximate rectangular shape.
  2. Using mandoline slicer or food processor, slice potatoes thinly, about 1/16″ thick.
  3. Toss sliced potatoes with 2 tbsp of melted butter and sprinkle of salt.
  4. Brush bottom of baking pan with softened butter, and line with parchment paper.
  5. Layer potatoes across pan. After second layer, add thin slices of butter, a bit of onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue layering potatoes, adding butter, onion and seasonings after every two layers.
  6. Fold over sides of parchment paper to cover potatoes. Cover tightly with lid or piece of aluminum foil.
  7. Bake potatoes for 2 hours, or until completely tender when pierced with tip of knife. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Put weight on top of potatoes, cool to room temperature, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  8. To serve, remove Potato Pavé from pan and trim sides. Cut into 2″ x 4″ rectangles. Place on baking tray. Reheat in 400°F oven for 20 minutes.

Cook Steaks

  1. Bring pot of salted water to a boil and heat cast-iron pan on high.
  2. Rub Denver steaks with canola oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  3. Place in cast-iron pan and sear for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and sear other sides for same amount of time. Bring to internal temperature of 125°F to 135°F (medium-rare). Remove from hot pan to plate or cutting board. Allow 6 to 7 minutes for steaks to rest before slicing.

Prepare Side Dishes

  1. While steaks are resting, cook green beans by dropping into boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove from pot and toss in butter and salt.
  2. Place tomatoes, cut-side down, in hot cast-iron pan for 1 minute. Remove from pan and sprinkle chopped chives on bottom halves, then place top back on each tomato.
  3. In same pan, add onion, cut-side down, and sear to get nice caramelization; season with salt. Peel onion layers to have single layer of onion per plate.


  1. In center of each plate, place servings of potatoes next to servings of green beans and opposite tomato and onion.
  2. Slice each steak into 1⁄4″ slices, arrange on top of potatoes and beans, sprinkle with sea salt and top with Smoked Beef Tallow Emulsion.