Steak Diane is a long-established method of preparing a sirloin steak with a wonderful earthy sauce. The theatre is to prepare the sauce in front of guests because it require setting fire to the brandy in the sauce. It was a Masterchef -The Professionals challenge from the first episode of series 9 led by Marcus Wareing who was keen to check their sauce making skills.
- 2tbsp whole black peppercorns
- Flaked sea salt
- 2 x 175g (6oz) fillet steaks
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 1tsp vegetable oil
- 2 shallots (or 1 long banana shallot), thinly sliced or well chopped up according to taste.
- 3tbsp brandy
- 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 200ml (7fl. oz.) beef stock
- 3tbsp double cream
- 1tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves (optional)
- Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, then mix them with half a teaspoon of sea salt.
- Place the steaks on a board. The steak is prepared by trimming off the rind and fat which would form the skin of the meat.
- Bash and bat out the steak with a meat hammer on both sides. It is the most important part of the process because it only has a few minutes in the pan.
- Season them well on both sides with the pepper and salt mixture until they’re lightly but evenly crusted.
- Melt the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the steaks over a medium-high heat for 2-2½ minutes on each side for rare meat.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes longer on each side if you prefer your steaks medium rare and up to 3 minutes longer for medium, depending on thickness. Ideally the steak should be slightly red in the centre as a guide to cooking quality.
- Remove the steaks from the pan and set them aside to rest while you make the sauce.
- Let the pan come down in temperature.
- Add the shallots to the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until they’re softened and lightly browned. Pour the brandy into the pan and let it sizzle for a few seconds.
- With great care, light a match and carefully ignite the brandy, standing well back from the flame in the pan. If you prefer not to do this, let the brandy simmer for 15 seconds more in the pan before adding the other ingredients. When the flames have disappeared, add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard to the pan, stirring continuously. You can add the mustard earlier but it’s all a matter of taste again.
- Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by nearly half, stirring regularly.
- Stir in the double cream and bring the sauce back to a simmer, stirring. Add the steak back in to warm it back up and take on some of the flavour.
- Add some pieces of bone marrow if its available to enrich the sauce further.
- Add any juices from the resting steaks, then continue to simmer and stir until the sauce is thick enough to lightly coat the back of your spoon. Season to taste and stir in the tarragon, if using.
- Serve the steaks with the sauce covering the surface, some sautéed potatoes or parmentier potatoes and a green salad.