Steak Diane

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Steak Diane is traditionally 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.

Steak Diane

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 Vaughn 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


  • 4 (6-ounce) center cut beef tenderloin steaks or another cut of your choice
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup beef broth*
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 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 Salt steak and let sit at room temp: Sprinkle salt on both sides of the steak and set aside at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.

2 Mix broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, tomato paste: Whisk together broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and tomato paste; set aside.

3 Sear steaks in butter: Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Increase 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 Sauté shallots: While the meat is resting, sauté the shallots in the pan, 2 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring once or twice.

5 Deglaze pan with cognac: Add the cognac to deglaze the pan. Increase the heat and cook until the cognac is almost evaporated.

6 Add broth mixture, then cream: 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.

steak-diane-method-3 steak-diane-method-4

7 Serve steak with sauce: 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 32 Comments

  • Scott

    Steak Diane was fantastic!
    I did kick it up a little by marinating the steak in brandy and adding a little garlic. My only regret is that I forgot to make bruschetta to accompany it!

  • Kate

    I made this last night for the first time ever. All I did different was I added sautéed gourmet mushrooms, and horseradish dijon (because it’s what I had) All I can say is that it was absolutely amazing!!! Made it with NY strips, however next time I plan on using filets. Any good cut of beef would work though. Made some creamy, cheesy spinach with it to go on top of.. unbelievable. Will make this again and again. Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!!

  • Paddy

    I made this for my wife last evening. The first time either had tried this dish. She made me write it down and put it some place safe, it was that good. I used brandy and 8 oz of fresh sliced mushrooms with our rib eye steaks. The pre-seasoning was done with Ted’s Montana Grill Seasoning Spice (found recipe on internet). We use it on all red meat dishes. I let that sit on the meat a minimum of 6 hours.

  • Bob

    When my wife & I were married in 1982, we had dinner and she ordered Steak Diane. She had not had it again until I fixed it for her on our 32nd anniversary this year. It turned out superb and it was a joy to watch her enjoy it. Thank you for posting this.

  • Phyllis Kirigin

    Your version of Steak Diane sounds delicious and I’m going to try it. I have always made it with thinly sliced boneless shell steak. Then I pound it even thinner and pan fry it. Instead of the cream, it make the sauce with a few dollops of chilled Campbell’s beef consomme (with gelatin). I know–salty as all get out, so I don’t use any salt on the steak. I use the rest of your ingredients and flambe it with cognac. That very thin steak which, of course, cooks through, also develops a crusty edge and is quite good.

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