Perfect french fries are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. If you don't want to mess with deep-frying, this technique of steaming-then-roasting may be your best alternative.
The method comes from cooking instructor and author Patricia Wells via Food52, which explains why this makes excellent steak fries:
"The steaming allows a fine, moist coating of starch to form on the surface of the potato, providing a very crisp texture when baked," Wells explains. You can actually see this pale sheen on the cut faces of each frite after you lift the lid and tumble them from their steamer basket.
Under a faint coat of oil, those starches will stiffen and brown and crisp, and help keep the potatoes from sticking to the baking sheet too. And because the frites are already steamed tender, they won't burn before they're cooked through, as would inevitably be the case if you were to just throw raw chunks of potato into the oven at 500° F [260 C]
It takes just ten minutes of steaming and ten minutes of baking — and just a couple of tablespoons of olive oil — to make these wonderful homemade fries.
Patricia Wells' Fake Frites [Food52]