Recipe: Steak Diane
I grew up in an era when Continental cuisine was all the rage. What exactly is Continental cuisine? I defined it as a style of cooking that blends the techniques and highly regarded dishes of Western European countries. And if there was ever an entree that could be named the poster child for Continental cuisine, it would be Steak Diane. I loved Steak Diane growing up, largely due to the fact that my intrepid mother, with her ever-expanding culinary repertoire, would happen upon a recipe that made us all feel like we were having dinner in a fancy restaurant.
This is that recipe. Steak Diane brings together all the good feels on the palate: slabs of succulent tender beef tenderloin, booze, cream, demiglace, ample savory vegetables with some help from a steak’s best friend, mushrooms. The end result is a heavenly dish with grown up attributes — seriously, when was the last time you flambe’d anything? And it looks so gorgeous on the plate. My suggestion when making this dish is to prep all of your ingredients and have them neatly arranged by your range because once you get started it comes together very quickly. This practice is referred to as mise en place in a chef’s world.
I recently made Steak Diane and paired it with twice-cooked fingerlings and truffle-scented peeled blanched asparagus. If I were to make it at home I would have plated it on top of potato puree with a side of wilted spinach. That just feels more steak house delicious. Either way, it was a beautiful dinner and we had another chef in the house that night who loved, loved, loved it (especially the pretty peeled asparagus). God is in the details. So treat yourself this weekend to a fancy Continental dinner at home! And open a great bottle of Margaux as well. Now that I’ve written, this, I don’t mind if I do.
Steak Diane (aka something my mother would make)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
(8) 3-ounce beef tenderloin medallions, pounded 3/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 small shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ pound button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
½ cup Cognac or other brandy
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup veal demiglace (D’Artagnan makes a good quality demiglace)
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until lightly browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the medallions and cook for 2 minutes longer, then transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the Cognac and carefully ignite it with a long match. If it doesn’t light right away tip the skillet towards the range’s flame and this will ignite the alcohol. When the flames die down, add the mustard and cream and stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the veal demiglace, Worcestershire sauce, scallions and parsley and season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Add the meat and any accumulated juices to the saucepan and turn to coat. Simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the meat to plates, spoon the sauce on top and serve.
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