How to make it

  • Note:
  • If you prefer not to make the sauce base, mix 1/2 cup glace de viande with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup red wine and use this mixture in place of the base in step 4. For this recipe, use a traditional skillet. The steaks leave behind more fond (browned bits) than they do in a nonstick skillet, and more fond means a richer, more flavorful sauce. A superb embellishment for Steak Diane is a drizzle of white truffle oil just before serving. If you do not wish to flambé, simmer the cognac in step 2 for 10 to 15 seconds for a slightly less sweet flavor profile.
  • 1. For the Sauce Base: Heat oil and tomato paste in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, until paste begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add onions, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is reddish brown, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is well browned, about 3 minutes, adding remaining water when needed to prevent scorching. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and, using a heatproof rubber spatula, scrape up browned bits on bottom and sides of pot; bring to boil, stirring occasionally (mixture will thicken slightly). Add beef and chicken broths, peppercorns, thyme, and bay; bring to boil and cook, uncovered, occasionally scraping bottom and sides of pot with spatula, until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • 2. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; you should have about 1 1/4 cups.
  • 3. For the steaks: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, season steaks with salt and pepper. Place 2 steaks in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Following illustrations below, flip steaks and weight with heavy-bottomed pan; continue to cook until well browned on second side, about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer steaks to large platter and tent with foil. Add 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and repeat with remaining steaks; transfer second batch of steaks to platter.
  • 4. For the sauce: Off heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and shallots to now-empty skillet; using skillet's residual heat, cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are slightly softened and browned, about 45 seconds. Add cognac; let stand until cognac warms slightly, about 10 seconds, then set skillet over high heat. Using chimney match, ignite cognac; shake skillet until flames subside, then simmer cognac until reduced to about 1 tablespoon, about 10 seconds. Add sauce base and mustard; simmer until slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in butter; off heat, add Worcestershire sauce, any accumulated juices from steaks, and 1 tablespoon chives. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • 5. Set steaks on individual dinner plates, spoon 2 tablespoons sauce over each steak, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce separately.
  • Note: Browning the Steaks The following method yields well-browned steaks. It also leaves behind, over the entire surface of the pan, lots of crusty browned bits, or fond, which make for a richly flavored sauce.
  • 1. Place two steaks in hot pan, side by side, and cook until well browned.
  • 2. Turn steaks over and rotate 90 degrees to ensure that entire pan surface will be covered with food.
  • 3. Place heavy Dutch oven or skillet on top of steaks and continue cooking until well browned.

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