Saturday, April 2, 2016

Steak Diane

I was first introduced to Steak Diane at Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale. As a culinary neophyte, I thought it was so incredibly palatial to have my steak prepared table side. Better yet was the gigantic burst of flames when the waiter would flambé the dish in the grand finale (now i just think it is a horrible waste of cognac).

Today I am going to share with you Mark Bittman's Steak Diane sauce. It's a simpler and quicker prep. And while certainly less showy and absent the flambé, it is delicious and it will allow you to enjoy the cognac as a dessert rather than having it disappear into the atmosphere and enlarge your carbon footprint in such a dreadful manner.

While you could certainly grill the steaks, I'm going to encourage you to pan-sear them. This will allow you to capture the fond (all of the goodies left in the pan after searing) and incorporate it in your sauce. Pictured above is my favorite pan-searing pan, a carbon steel pan. When I got this $34 pan, it was a beautiful silver color. Now it is a deep black from many months of use. It is what as known as fully seasoned and completely non-stick. And when it comes to searing, this pan just totally kicks ass.

2  New York Strip Steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup heavy cream 
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Chopped fresh chives for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 450º and place carbon steel or cast iron pan inside oven.
  2. Season steaks with salt and pepper.
  3. Five minutes before you start cooking, remove pan from oven and heat pan over a burner at high heat.
  4. Put olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in pan. After butter melts, swirl to coat bottom of pan.
  5. Place steaks in pan and let them sear on one side for 5 minutes.
  6. After 5 minutes, flip steaks and slide pan into the oven. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Remove pan from oven and remove steaks from pan. Tent steaks with foil and let rest.
  8. Add remaining butter and onion to pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cream. Add some salt and a fair amount of pepper. Stir once or twice, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  9. Add lemon juice. Stir. Spoon sauce over meat, garnish with chives and serve.

Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

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