By Christie Vanover | Published August 22, 2022 | Last Updated August 22, 2022
What is Steak Diane
Steak Diane is a simple, yet exquisite recipe that involves quickly searing a flattened filet mignon steak in a butter sauce with fresh herbs.
The dish started gaining notoriety in the 1940s when food writers touted it as a favorite celebrity dish at restaurants from Australia to London and New York to Miami.
What made it unique was the decadent, yet simple ingredients combined with experiential tableside preparation. The whole recipe could be prepared by top chefs in under five minutes, allowing diners to get a meal and a show.
And as the recipe evolved, chefs introduced flaming brandy to the presentation, making the show even more entertaining.
Steak Diane Ingredients
There are numerous variations of this classic recipe, and as you make the dish, you’ll probably develop your own twists.
Substitutions: Master the recipe and then add your own ingredients. Try adding mustard, mushrooms and shallots to the sauce. Now, some restaurants even incorporate red wine and cream.
Steak Diane Equipment
This dish can be prepared indoors on a stovetop, but it’s even more entertaining to cook it over a grill or outdoor burner in front of your friends.
How to Make Steak Diane
Start by trimming the steak to remove any excess fat or silverskin. Then, pound the steak very thin, using a meat mallet. You want it to be between 1/4 and 1/8-inch.
Rub both sides with a touch of olive oil and season with kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper. The coarse salt and pepper will help provide flavorful texture.
Melt half of the butter in one cast iron skillet over high and add the Worcestershire sauce. I also like to add red pepper flakes at this point for a little kick of heat.
You want the pan to be hot enough to quickly sear the steak, but not so hot it browns the butter. Add the flattened filet and sear for 1-2 minutes. Flip the steak over and add the fresh herbs.
When working with cast iron, especially on an open grill, the pan will be very hot. So, be sure to wear heat gloves [link] before grabbing the handle.
For the big show, add a splash of brandy to the side of the steak and light it with a long-handled lighter. Allow the flame to subside as the steak finishes cooking. It will only take another 30 seconds or so.
Be sure to use extra caution when cooking with alcohol near an open flame. Make sure everyone is at a safe distance and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Plate the steak and pour the rich butter sauce right on top. See the recipe notes for a quick suggestion to plate alongside the steak Diane.
If you’re making the recipe in batches, wipe the pan clean and repeat the process for the second steak. You can also prepare it using two skillets.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The original recipe used high-quality filet mignon, flattened very thinly. While filet is ideal because it is so tender, in the 1950s, cooks started using sirloin steak as an alternative, which is a more affordable cut.
The sauce is made with butter, Worcestershire sauce, fresh herbs and a splash of brandy. The alcohol in the brandy will cook off once you ignite it.
Unfortunately, I did a ton of research on this, including reading several newspaper articles from the 1940s, but I wasn’t able to find a solid answer.
What to Serve with Steak Diane
I love serving my finished meals on Barebones Living enamel plates with their flatware. I’ve included a quick side of sautéed asparagus and cherry tomatoes in the recipe notes, but here are a few other dishes that go well with steak Diane.
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- 2 filet mignon steaks
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarse-ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh chives chopped
- 2 tbsp brandy liqueur
- pinch sea salt
- Prep Steak: Trim the steaks to remove any large pieces off at or silverskin. Using a meat mallet, pound the steak, until it is 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Repeat with the second steak.
- Season Steak: Rub each flattened steak with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat Cast Iron: Place the cast iron skillet on a grill or outdoor burner over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Cook Steak: Add one steak to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Flip the steak over; add 1 tablespoon fresh parsley and 2 teaspoons fresh chives. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Flambe: Add 1 tablespoon brandy. Using a long-handled lighter, carefully ignite the brandy. Cook for 30-60 more seconds, until the flame subsides.
- Serve: Place the steak on a plate and pour on the butter sauce. Garnish with a pinch of sea salt. Wipe out the pan and prepare the second steak using the remaining ingredients.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator