After 12 years (yes, 12 years), I have finally arrived at the “Fs” in my international cooking project. And, of course, that means I must cook classic French food. Finding classic French recipes is not as easy as it sounds – I have already explored several French regional cuisines and I don’t like repeating dishes.
I was happy when I came upon a recipe for steak Diane. I don’t know why I immediately assumed it was a classic French recipe. Maybe it was the name? The ingredients? Though, as my 10-year-old daughter pointed out after a couple of bites, this dish is very close to the beef Stroganoff I’d cooked earlier in the week. In any case, I made it, we enjoyed it, and it wasn’t until I started writing the recipe up that I took a look at its origins – only to find out that it’s an American invention.
Never mind, it was pretty easy to make and the kids enjoyed lighting the pan on fire. Indeed, it lit on its own: the instructions said to tilt the pan away from you and light the alcohol with a match, but when I tilted it, I splashed some liquid on the burner (I have a gas stove) and suddenly the pan was ablaze.
The recipe I used came from the great Emeril Lagasse. The key to making this dish is having each component ready and easily accessible from the stove top. I used tri-tip as it was 1/3 the price of tenderloin, but it was too tough for this cooking method (it was better on the Stroganoff, as it was thinly sliced for that recipe). I’d like to try it with tenderloin, though sirloin might be an alternative. Instead of the “reduced veal stock” the recipe asked for, I used a combination of water/whine and stock concentrate. If you still want to have the flavor of veal, but don’t want to make the stock yourself, Cook’s Delight has a veal base. Finally, “someone” dropped my dish with the chopped parsley/green onions on the floor so I wasn’t able to serve them on the steak. Still, it was delicious.
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 tsp. beef base (such as Better than Bouillon)
- 1 lb beef tenderloin medallions
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. chopped shallots
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 8 – 10 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup Cognac or brandy
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions or chives
- 2 tsp. minced Italian parsley
Place the water, red wine and beef base in a small cooking pot. Cook over medium heat until the base dissolves completely, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Season the beef with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in the saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on one side for 45 seconds. Turn and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional two minutes. Remove the steak to a warm platter and cover with foil. Continue cooking the mushrooms until soft, a couple of more minutes.
Add the cognac and lit the pan on fire. Keep on the stove until the flame burns out and then add the cream and the mustard. Mix well and cook for one minute. Add the beef stock and cook for another minute. Add the Worcestershire sauce and mix. Return the medallions and the accumulated juices to the pan and turn to coat.
Before serving, sprinkle with the green onions and parsley.