If you know what’s good for you, you’ll take some time to make your person feel special and that usually entails sharing some good food. I absolutely loathe going out to restaurants at or near February 14th. The menus are usually prix fixe, and you’re stuck with whatever the chef decides to feed you. So, I’m going to suggest something out of the box – cook together. Get in the kitchen, put on some romantic music, sing together, dance, drink some champagne, chop stuff and COOK SOME MEAT! Then, set a special table and feed each other. It can be a super sexy date. And, we’ve got a delicious, old school steakhouse recipe for you to try out – Steak Diane.
Steak Diane is similar to the classic French dish, steak au poivre, which typically consists of a pounded filet mignon that is rubbed with cracked pepper, pan seared and served with a creamy peppercorn cognac pan sauce. Steak Diane is said to have originated in New York in the late 19th or early 20th century where it was often prepared tableside and flambéed. It was popular in restaurants frequented by the Café Society, such as the restaurants at the Drake, Sherry-Netherland and Waldorf Astoria hotels, as well as the 21 Club, the Colony and the Stork.
Legend has it that the name “Steak Diane” is a homage to Diana the Huntress of Greek Mythology, but I think the more sexy story is that of the chef at the Drake Hotel (known as “Nino of the Drake”) trying to impress a young socialite with his cooking prowess and naming the dish after her. He knew he’d seal the deal after watching her take the first bite.
Here is my take on the Steak Diane recipe, which is adapted from a New School of Cooking recipe and updated to make our 26oz Aspen Ridge Dry Aged Bone In NY Steak the star of the dish. We use the reverse sear method to fire these chunky 2-1/4” thick NY steaks. Holy Yum!
2 – 26oz Natural Dry Aged Prime Bone In NY Strip Steaks
6oz Unsalted butter
1-1/2 t Canola oil
2 Shallots, minced
1 Clove garlic, pressed
3 T Dijon mustard
3 T Worcestershire sauce
4 T Veal demi-glace
3 T Madeira
Juice of one large lemon
1 – Sprinkle the steaks with Kosher salt and place them on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet, uncovered in your refrigerator. You want to give them time to dry, preferably overnight, but for at least an hour. I don’t season with pepper until the steaks are cooked because the sear burns the pepper.
2 – Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
3 – Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature on your wire rack. For the thick steaks we’re using here, this takes about 40 minutes.
4 – Keep your steaks on the wire rack and place them in the oven.
The goal is to get the middle of the steaks to 10-15 degrees below your ideal internal temperature. You’ll need a good meat thermometer for this. I use Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo. For medium rare (130 degrees F), I suggest that you remove the steaks from the oven at 115 degrees.
5 – When the steaks are nearly ready to remove from the oven, prepare the Diane Sauce over medium heat. Sauté the shallots and garlic in 2 oz. of butter. Stir in the mustard, Worcestershire and veal demi glace, and then stir in the Madeira and lemon juice. Let this sauté for just a few minutes and then remove the pan from the heat and add 2 oz. of butter. Season with pepper and a pinch of salt (remember the veal demi has salt in it, so don’t over salt!).
6 – Sear your steaks. Place the canola oil and the remaining 2 oz. of butter in a cast iron or other heavy skillet and heat on high until it just begins to smoke. Sear the steaks until medium rare (130 degrees F). This should take only 1-2 minutes on each side. Use the instant read thermometer to ensure you get the correct internal temperature. Season with black pepper.
7 – If you are serving each steak to more than one, remove the bone, slice and then spoon on the Diane Sauce.
Otherwise, coat the steaks in the sauce and plate. Finish with chopped parsley.
I serve these steaks with a bed of matchstick fries (recipe below) – giving the dish the requisite crunch and mush factor. If you want to have an old school steakhouse themed dinner, consider beginning your evening with a cocktail, like a vodka gimlet or Manhattan. For dinner, start with a classic shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, and then your Steak Diane with matchstick fries. If you want to go all out, follow dinner with another old school favorite, Chocolate Soufflé. Bon Appetit!
2 Russet Potatoes
Canola or Peanut Oil
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Peel the potatoes, julienne them with a chef’s knife or mandolin, and place them in a bowl of water. Make sure the potatoes are completely covered or they’ll turn brown. Put the oil a cast iron or other heavy deep pan or Dutch oven. I use about 3 of oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Drain the potatoes. You want the potatoes to be drained and as dry as possible before you fry them. Fry in small batches until golden brown, making sure you maintain the oil temp. Take care to not put too many potatoes in at one time or it will boil over! Drain on a resting rack and season with salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese.