Legend has it that serving Steak Diane can reverse the course of unrequited love...
Steak Diane is a mustard-enhanced version of Steak au Poivre, probably the creation of the late Beniamino Schiavon, chef at New York City's Drake Hotel. It was a favorite entrée at upscale restaurants and in the homes of sophisticated cooks in the the mid-20th century. Tradition speaks to sautéing the steaks at the table in a chafing dish, and a grand flambé of the accompanying cognac sauce just before serving. It's much easier to cook this on the stovetop, and there's no need to flame such a small amount of cognac.
The steaks and sauce cook very, very fast, so have all your ingredients at hand when you start. Your side dishes will require careful timing, too; the steaks must be served immediately, so an extra pair of hands in the kitchen is great if you aren't comfortable with last-minute plating. Of course, this also makes Steak Diane a great entrée for couples that enjoy cooking together. Pair the steaks with a starch and vegetable.
2 beef tenderloin (fillet mignon) steaks, about 6 oz (200g) each
Pepper (freshly ground from the mill, of course!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons (42.53 g) butter, divided into three equal pieces
3 tablespoons finely minced shallots
1 tablespoon cognac
3 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard (I prefer Maille)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons beef stock
1. Place the beef fillets between two sheets of waxed paper and pound them to a thickness of about 1/4 inch (6 cm). Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil and two-thirds of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is nice and hot, add the steaks; sauté for 1-1/2 minutes, turn, and cook an additional 30 seconds. Please, don't over cook the steaks! Remove the skillet from the burner and transfer your steaks unto two warm dinner plates.
3. Return your skillet to the flame, and cook the minced shallots for about 10 seconds. Add the cognac and give the mixture a good stir with a wire whisk. Add the parsley, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock; whisk until well-blended. Now toss in that last bit of butter, and whisk the sauce until the butter melts and incorporates into the pan sauce. Remove the pan from the flame, pour the sauce over your steaks and serve immediately.
Credit where credit is due: this version of Steak Diane is based on a recipe in Pierre Franey's 60-Minute Gourmet cookbook. A simpler version is described in jeremy f's writeup in this node.