Steak Diane

Updated, from the recipe archive. First posted 2006. Enjoy! ~Elise

Steak Diane is tradtionally made with a thinly pounded steak, and a cognac, butter, and shallot sauce that is flambéed right before serving to great dramatic effect. Doing some research into Steak Diane, I found that the “Diane” part refers to Diana, the Greco-Roman goddess of the hunt, and “a la Diane” sauces were typically served with venison and game meat in centuries past. It was probably New York hotels that popularized the flambéed steak version.

This Steak Diane recipe is based off of one I got years ago from my friend Heidi, who found a version in her local paper, the Carlisle Mosquito (great name for a newspaper, isn’t it?). The recipe calls for pan-frying the steak, using the pan juices as a base for the “Diane” sauce—a sauce made with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cream—and then serving the steak with the sauce poured over it. No flames are involved. Heidi’s husband Vauhgn is a master at the grill, so they often grill the steak instead of pan-frying it, and just make the sauce separately. The sauce can be used over chicken or pork as well, and if you have leftovers, you can even stir it in over some pasta.

Steak Diane Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1/2 cup beef broth*
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 4 (6-ounce) center cut beef tenderloin steaks or another cut of your choice
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup finely minced shallots
  • 4 Tbsp cognac or brandy
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped

*If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth


1 Whisk together broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and tomato paste; set aside.

2 Sprinkle salt on both sides of the steak and set aside at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.

3 Put butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Let this heat for 1-2 minutes. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Turn the heat to high and sear the meat for 1-4 minutes, depending on how thick the steak is. (You may need to cook the meat in batches.) Turn and sear on the other side. Use the finger test to check the doneness of the meat. When the steaks are done, move to a cutting board and tent with foil.


4 While the meat is resting, sauté the shallots 2 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring once or twice. Add the cognac to deglaze the pan. Increase the heat and cook until the cognac is almost evaporated. Stir in the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook for two more minutes.

5 If you want, thinly slice the steak to serve. Otherwise serve individual steaks. Drizzle warm Diane sauce over the steak and garnish with freshly ground black pepper and chives.

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Chicken Diane - from Angie's Recipes
Venison steak Diane from Hank Shaw's Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Scott

    I gave this a try tonight! Delightful. So very simple and totally hit the spot. THANKS! I can’t wait to try this again with some grilled chicken, per your recommendation.

  • janine

    Steak Diane is a superb dish that calls for a wonderful, hot,crusty baguette. There is no better steak dish. It is relatively unseen in restaurants.
    Expect a real country setting and possibly skiing when you open a menu to find this delightful delicacy. Paired with a half glass of the finest red wine, perhaps a bordeaux, you will find yourself floating in culinary heaven.
    If you find room for desert, a cherry clafoutis would top off the experience. Add a fine hot chocolate or cafe au lait and pull up a nice, warm bed with white flannel sheets! Goodnite.

  • Jim

    Excellent recipe and a very simple way to make steak, though, I must admit that I have JUST managed to make it right (despite 3 or 4 tries). The conundrum: not using heavy cream. Previously, I couldn’t manage to make it without the sauce separating and the condensed milk (a decent substitute for cream) curdling. For those attempting this, here are some tips that I’ve discovered. First, mix in a little bit of corn starch with the condensed milk (or half-and-half). Second, make sure you liberally temper it. Lastly, turn the heat off after the 2 minute simmer, and pour the milk in SLOWLY, stirring constantly. As soon as it is integrated, take it off the burner. It’s a bit more work, but it worked well for me.

  • firman

    without the cognac or brandy, how is the taste? any substitute or any option for it ?

    Steak Diane is traditionally made with alcohol because it gets lit on fire, which is the alcohol burning off. I cannot recommend a substitute. If you want to make it without it, go ahead, and then let us know how you like it. ~Elise

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