August 30, 2009

Steak Diane

Steak Diane

According to the food historians, the true history of Steak Diane is a complicated affair. The answer may be one of semantics rather than straight culinary history. Why? There are as many names for this dish as there are recipe variations. One of the closest variations is Steak au Poivre, also sometimes served flambe.

The history of cooking and serving meat with spiced sauces dates back to ancient times. Sauces were employed to tenderize cuts and add flavour. Pepper was highly favored by Ancient Roman and Medieval cooks and figured prominently in many recipes. According to the Larousse Gastonomique, Sauce Diane (Diana...aka Artemis...a powerful mythological huntress) is traditionally associated with venison (a tough meat), which makes it a curious choice for the finest beef cuts that are used today for Steak Diane.

"Diane, a la
The description "a la Diane" is given to certain game dishes that are dedicated to the goddess Diana (the huntress). Joints of venison a la Diane are sauteed and coated with sauce Diane (a highly peppered sauce with cream and truffles). They are served with chestnut puree and croutons spread with game forcemeat."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Competely Revised and Updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 416)

"Steak Diane was originally a way of serving venison, and its sharp sauce was intended to complement the sweet flavor of deer meat. It was named for Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt, and since Diana was also the moon goddess, the small pieces of toast used to sop up the delicious juices are traditionally cut in crescent shapes."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 100)

When was Sauce Diane invented? The earliest mention we find of a sauce with this particular name is 1907, from Escoffier:

"Sauce Diane
Lightly whip 2dl of cream and add it at the last moment to 5dl well seasoned and reduced Sauce Poivrade. Finish with 2 tbs each of small crescent shaped pieces of truffle and hard-boiled white of egg. This sauce is suitable for serving with cutlets, noisettes and other cuts of venison."
---Le Guide Culinaire, A. Escoffier, translated by H. L. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufman recipe 44[1907] (p. 12)

So, when and where did Steak Diane begin? None of the culinary history texts or old cookbooks provide a definative answer. Based on culinary evidence this is a possible explanation:

Steak Diane is an evolution of an ancient dish that was *rediscovered* in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by European chefs.
 Evidence suggests Steak Diane is an American invention of the late 1950s/early1960s, when French cooking (think Julia Child - the Kennedy White House menus) was all the rage. Rich wine sauces and flamboyant presentation were the norm for many top restaurants. If Steak Diane is an American recipe, then New York City is the most likely place or origin. Jane Nickerson's article "Steak Worthy of the Name," (New York Times, January 25, 1953 p. SM 32) offers three likely candidates: "The Drake Hotel, the Sherry-Netherland Hotel and the Colony Restaurant each said, not knowing that any other dining place had done so, that their patrons praised their steak Diane. Nino of the Drake claimed he was the first to introduce this dish to New York and, in fact, to the entire United States. Essentially it consists of steak cooked in butter and further seasoned with butter mixed with fresh chives; usually the beef is pounded thin. The chef of each establishment has his own version."

The earliest recipes we find for Steak Diane were printed in Nickerson's article. Craig Claiborne's Steak Diane (New York Times Cookbook [1961]) is not served flambe. Julia Child's The French Chef Cookbook, [1968] contains a recipe for "Steak au Poivre" with optional flambe.

"Steak Diane...I always associated this recipe with New York City's Colony Restaurant because that was where I first tried it. Yet I find no mention of it in "The Colony" [1945], in Brody's portrait of that restaurant. It is featured, however, in Michael Lomonaco's "The 21 Cookbook" [1995] together with this description: "At 21 Steak Diane is traditionally prepared tableside by the captains or Maitre Walter Weiss. The beef, sizzling in a large copper pan with brandy flaming and cause bubbling, makes a wonderful show reminiscent of the days when Humphrey Bogart and friends would bound in at midnight following the newest opening on Broadway..."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 92)

"He serves stand-bys that the trendy places don't carry. Steak Diane and Bananas Flambe."

Other claims to the origin of Steak Diane (no authentication provided):

"Q: What is Steak Diane, and where did it originate? A: Created at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janiero, individual beef steaks are pounded flat, quickly cooked in butter, and flamed with cognac. The cognac sauce is typically finished with sherry, butter, and chives." --- Minnesota Beef Council

"Rumored to have originated in Belgium during the 1920s, today's recipe has forever left its mark in the minds and pallets of great chefs as one of the most fantastic tales of a meal prepared to change course of unrequited love."

Steak Diane (Colony Restaurant)(1953)

1 to one and one-half tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly gound black pepper to taste
1/2 to one teaspoon each finely chopped chives and parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Individual steak of any thickness (one pound with bone, eight to ten ounces without bone and fat)
Mix all ingredients except meat in heavy fry pan and when very hot place steak in pan, cooking at very high heat until done. Serve immediately, pouring residue of sauce over meat.
---"Steak Worthy of the Name," Jane Nickerson, The New York Times, January 25, 1953 (p. SM 32)

"Steak Diane, 1 serving (1961)
1 ten-ounce sirloin steak
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon congnac, heated
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon sweet butter
1 teaspoon chopped chives.

1. Trim the meat well and pound very thin with a mallet.
2. Heat one and one-half tablespoons butter in a chafing-dish platter. Add the steak and cook quickly, turning it once.
3. Add the congnac and flame. Add the sherry and the sweet butter creamed with chives.
4. Place the steak on a warm platter and pour the pan juices over it."

---The New York Times Cook Book, Craig Claiborne [Harper & Row:New York] 1961 (p. 91)
Source: food history site

i am still working on Cheflys and Appy_Girls recipe review collections and stumbled across several revies from Janie on Steak Diane.... I have been eating asian and italian food for the past weeks that i really felt like a big treat and getting a nice steak ... so the steak diane reviews came just in time - i have to admit i never had one. I know this is a very popular dish in the USA and served many ways as you can also see on the food historian article.

So here is the version i used - its very nice - see above picture thats how i made it - i grilled my steaks rare and 2 medium for the family and served it with potato wedges, a sour cream dip and grilled corn on the cob with parsley butter - it was very very good! Next time i will add the mushrooms - today when i opedn the box with the mushrooms they looked funny so i tossed them...better safe then sorry....
Enjoy Alissa

Steak Diane

Recipe from Jill and reviewed by Janie - thank you both this was terrific!!

2(6-oz.)fillet mignons
Pinch of salt and pepper (i used lemon pepper)
2 Tbs shortning or ghee
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbs shallots minced
1 Tbs shortning or ghee
1 Tbs lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 Tbs fresh chives, minced
2 Tsp brandy
1 Tbs fresh parsley, minced

Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Melt the 2 Tbs butter in a heavy skillet. Add the mustard and shallots, saute over Med heat 1 minute. Add the steaks and cook for about 3 minutes on each side for med-rare.Remove the steaks and keep warm. Add 1 Tbs of butter to the pan drippings, along with the lemon juice and worchestershire sauce and chives. Cook for 2 minutes and add the brandy. Pour the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with parsley. If you like you could thicken the sauce a bit with corn starch or arrowrootflour.
I made my sauce separetly and left out the mushrooms
ich habe in den vergangenen Tage mich durch Berge von Rezepten bzw. Rezeptbewertungen meiner 2 Freundinnen aus dem Amerikanischen Forum gewühlt und einen Thread mit allen ihren besten Bewertungen zusammengestellt und dabei bin ich auf mehrere Versionen des Steak Diane gestossen. Ich persönlich hatte es noch nie gegessen und nur immer wieder in alten amerikanischen Kochbüchern gesehen - es war wohl in den 60'er Jahren sehr populär... besonders wenn es flambiert wurde. Es gehort da einfach zur gehobenen Küche und in jedes bessere Restaurant. Heute erlebt es ein Comback in abgespeckter vereinfachter Form.... Ich habe mich für das Rezept von Jill entschieden. Die Steaks habe ich seperat gegrillt und im Anschluss die Sauce darüber gegeben. Serviert habe ich dazu Kartoffelspalten, Dip dazu, gegrillte Maiskolben mit Butter und einen grünen Salat.

Eventuell gibt es in Deutschland ein ähnliches Rezept... Allerdings kenne ich mich in der deutschen Küche nicht so aus.
Ich finde Steak Diane sehr lecker - die Pilze habe ich bewusst weggelassen da ich die Champignons  heute morgen irgendwie muffig fand und komisch - da bin ich radikal - ich schmeisse das dann weg - ich hatte mal eine Lebensmittelvergiftung - da fackel ich nicht lange...
Probiert es mal aus - oder eine älter Version oder Eure eigene.... oder flambiert es das wöre auch schön... ich traut mich das aber nicht in der Wohnung -lol...
Viel Vergnügen..
LG Alissa

Steak Diane

2(6-oz.)Fillet Mignons (ich habe Rumpsteaks verwendet - habe nichts anderes bekommen)
Etwas Salz und Pfeffer (ich habe Lemon Pepper verwendet)
2 EL Butterschmalz oder Ghee
1 TL Dijon Senf
2 EL Schalotten, feingehackt
1 EL Butterschmalz oder Ghee
1 EL Zitronensaft
1-1/2 TL Worchestershire sauce
1 EL Schnittlauch, frisch gehackt
2 EL Brandy
1 EL glatte Petersilie, fein gehackt

Das Steak auf beiden Seiten mit Salz udn Lemon Pepper einmassieren. In einer schweren Pfanne Butterschmalz erhitzen. Den Senf hinzufügen und die Schalotten und 1 Min köcheln lassen. Das Steak hinzufügen und auf jeder Seite 3 Min garen. (med-rare). Die Steaks aus der Pfanne nehmen und warm halten. In die Pfanne 1 EL Ghee geben und mit den Bratresten in der Pfanne verrühren, den Zitronensaft, Worshestershire Sauce und Schnittlauch hinzufügen. Etwa 2 Min köcheln lassen und mit Brand ablöschen. Verrühren einkochen lassen, abschmecken. Wer mag kann die Sauce auch mit Pfeilwurzelstärke etwas andicken. Mit Petersilie bestreuen und mit dem Steak servieren. Man kann dazu auch gebratene Pilze anbieten.


Isi said...

Ach, das könnt ich jetzt schon essen. Vielen Dank für deine Infos, das ist wirklich immer super zu lesen. Ich glaube ich mache heute abend auch Steak mit Maiskolben

Eline said...

Steaks Diane - noch nie gehört .... scheint ja oirgendwie mit der Jagdgöttin (ursprünglich Wildfleisch ..) zu tun haben.
Neben der Kochhistorie ist die Zubereitung sehr interessant, weil doch unorthodox: ein Steak, nicht gebraten, sondern in einer Mischung aus Schalotten und Senf sautiert. Wird der Senf nicht bitter?

Cherry Blossom said...

@Isi ja machesmal muss es rotes Fleisch und Mais sein - guten Appetit

@Eline ich kannte den Titel nur aus alten Kochbüchern und bin immer wieder auf amerikanischen Rezeptseiten draufgestoßen - aber es hat mich fasziniert. Ich persönlich habe mich nicht an das Rezept gehalten - war nicht mutig genug es so zu machen sondern habe das Steak auf den Grill gelegt und die Sauce seperat in einer Sauteuse zu bereitet - somit wurder der Senf nicht bitter - die Sauce schmeckt leicht nach Senf und Brandy... abgerundet durch die Zwiebel ergibt das eine französisch angehauchte Sauce. Meine Freundin Janie nimmt die Saucenzutaten, reduziert den Senf und verwendet etwas Rinderfond und gibt alles in einen Blender und püriert es auf und macht dann daraus eine Steak Diane Sauce die sehr dünn ist und serviert dazu noch gebratene Kräuter Pilze - ist auch super lecker und schlanker... sie verwendet diese Sauce auch zu Schweinelende oder Kotletts...

kitchen roach/galley roach said...

Interessanter Geschichtsuntericht! Danke...
Ich stehe auf Saucen und werde die mal ausprobieren zu einem Fillet.

Cherry Blossom said...

Hallo kitchen roach - lass es Dir schmecken dazu würden auch gut Deine leckeren Tomaten passen oder frisches Gemüse aus Deinem Garten! Enjoy


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