One of my favourite recipes to make when special friends are coming for dinner is Steak Diane. The luscious cognac cream sauce with grilled mushrooms is absolutely gorgeous and served over a perfectly cooked filet mignon, it's pure heaven. You can make the sauce slightly ahead of time and keep it warm while you enjoy a cocktail and nibble with your guests! I can't take credit for this amazing dish — I pilfered it from Morton's Steak Bible — a great cookbook for all of us carnivores!
Morton's Beef Filet Diane
4 thick slices of white bread
14 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup Cognac
1 1/2 cups veal demi-glace*
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
20 oz cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced about 3/16" thick
4 filet mignons, each at least 1 1/4" thick
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Lay the bread slices on a work surface and using a water glass, cut out four 3" rounds. Transfer to a baking sheet and and bake, turning once, about 5-7 minutes until the croutons are lightly golden and crisp. Cool on wire rack.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the wine and the Cognac, raise the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the demi-glace, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then add the cream. Return the sauce to a boil and reduce the sauce, whisking often, for about 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken to a creamy consistency and deepen to a wonderful auburn colour.
- In a large sauté pan, melt the remaining 12 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to release their moisture and start to soften.
- Stir the sauce into the mushrooms and heat over a low heat until gently simmering. Let the sauce continue to simmer over low heat 12-15 minutes, until it's reduced and slightly thickened. Cover and keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
- Remove the steaks from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature 30-60 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Preheat broiler or set oven to 425°. Cook steaks 5-6 minutes per side for rare, 6-7 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness.
- To serve, place a filet on top of each crouton. Ladle some of the sauce over the steaks and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
* I get veal demi-glace from Whitehouse Meats in the St Lawrence Market.