Steak Diane
by The Webmaster

Image Serves: 4 people. Preparation time: 30 minutes.

In fine restaurants, this premium dish is traditionally prepared table-side with flambé showmanship.

Trim the steaks of all outside fat. Cut the steaks in half horizontally, making 4 thin pieces. Cover them with plastic wrap and with a mallet, pound the steaks lightly to flatten them to ¼-½ inch thick. This will also tenderize them. Season on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large skillet until a drop of water dances on the surface (medium-high heat), then add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Allow butter to melt and cook for a few seconds. Add the steaks and cook on each side for 1 minute. Remove the steaks from the skillet and lower the heat to low. Wait for the skillet to cool down.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the shallots. Sauté the shallots for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high again. Allow the skillet to warm. Carefully add 3 oz. of cognac and tip the skillet to bring the liquid to the edge of the pan, near the flame, to flambé (or use a long igniter). Add the white vermouth and with a wooden spoon, scrape brownings to "deglaze" the pan. Add the mustard and steak sauce and stir. Cook for 1 minute or until the liquid is syrup-like. Add the beef broth and boil on high for 1 minute. Add the cream and stir well. Boil for just a few seconds. Taste for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. This is traditionally a highly peppered dish. Carefully add 3 oz. of cognac and flame again. Then add the chives. Add the cooked steaks back in, plus any juice and simmer on medium to reheat them, turning 3 or 4 times to get them coated in the skillet sauce. Place the steaks on the serving plates and drizzle some skillet sauce on each. Garnish if desired.

"Steak Diane" - Originally a way of serving venison and its sharp sauce was intended to complement the sweet flavor of the deer meat. It was named for Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt. The ingredients of the sauce were not documented until 1907. It became a specialty of the 21 Club in New York City and the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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