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Steak Diane for Two

Steak Diane for Two

How to keep the love light going with your Valentine…

If someone took you out to dinner for Valentine’s Day, here’s how to pay them back. This incredibly quick and easy recipe is for one of most men’s favorite dinners. Steak. This is not to say women don’t say “Me too!”  Whichever you are, this dinner is a classic. The most tender cut of all, the Filet, is gussied up with a sauce made from seasoned pan juices, shallots, mustard, and cream. It is very frequently flambéed in brandy or cognac.  This recipe from Mark Bittman, writing for the New York Times, does not. I did change his recipe up a bit on the advice of his readers. But you won’t have to set the kitchen on fire to make this. (Scroll down the page for an account of one that practically set a four-star restaurant on fire.)

Steak Diane cannot be found in any of the classics of French Cuisine.

Lady Diana Cooper, ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’ may have had Steak Diane named for her.

Belgium, London, and New York lay claim to Steak Diane. I give London the edge. It was the signature dish at a restaurant in Sydney, Australia called Romanos. Their maître d’ claimed he’d invented it in London in 1938. He named it for Lady Diana Cooper, an aristocrat, and social commentator. In 1940s New York, there was a fad for tableside-flambéed dishes. All the posh places served them–The Drake and Sherry Netherland Hotels, the Colony, “21”,  and Le Pavillon.  It was Beniamino Schiavon, maitre d’ “Nino of the Drake” who got credit for Steak Diane. He claimed he and Luigi Quaglino invented the dish in an Ostend, Belgium at a restaurant called La Plage. They named it after ‘a beauty of the 1920s’. Hence, Belgium’s claim to the dish. At the Drake, however, it was called “Steak Nino”.

Steak Diane and how I fell in love with New York City…

In 2013, I wrote a post for Steak Diane made with flank steak. This cost-saving cut of beef can be used in making Steak Diane. Oddly enough, 9 years later the price I quoted, $29.99, was exactly what I just paid for my superb filets from Trader Joe’s of all places. This recipe differs in that it includes both sherry and cognac. It also includes the story of my first encounter with both Steak Diane and the city I came to live in my entire adult life. Read on at https://chewingthefat.us.com/2013/02/flank-steak-diane-and-how-i-fell-in.html

Here’s today’s recipe.

Steak Diane for Two

February 15, 2022
: 2
: 5 min
: 20 min
: Easy, Quick, Incredibly delicious

A tableside classic, the most tender cut of all, the Filet, is gussied up with a sauce made from the seasoned pan juices, shallots, mustard, and cream.


  • 2 (6-ounce) beef fillets, cut from the tenderloin (filet mignon), nicely marbled.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • ½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • Chopped fresh chives, parsley leaves, or finely chopped scallion for garnish
  • Step 1 Flatten fillets a bit with the palm of your hand, the back of a skillet or a small mallet. They should be about 1-inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and a lot of pepper. In a small skillet, preferably one just large enough to hold fillets, combine oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When butter foam melts, sear steaks on both sides, just until browned, no more than 2 minutes a side. Remove to platter.
  • Step 2 Add remaining butter over medium heat, with shallot or onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire, and cream. Add some salt and a fair amount of pepper. Stir once or twice, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Step 3 Keeping mixture at a steady simmer, return meat and accumulated juices to pan. Cook, turning two or three more times until the meat is done to your liking by checking its temperature with an instant-read thermometer. (125 degrees internal temperature for medium-rare). Remove to a plate, salt, and pepper to the sauce as needed. Spoon sauce over the meat, garnish with chives, parsley, or scallions, and serve.

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