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Sunday, February 7, 2010

high steaks

This fire was on purpose. (Not like the oven fire of '08.)

We decided to make a fancy dinner one Saturday night in the recent past. Kaytie made glazed carrots and twice-baked potatoes, and I was in charge of the meat.

Well, in charge of cooking the meat. Kaytie wanted Steak Diane. I, of course, agreed with her. (She’s rarely wrong, especially about food; she always out-orders me at restaurants.) After a bit of research, I combined several recipes and came up with this delicious dish.

By the way, what was for dessert? Fuzzy Navel Creme Brulee! (Coming soon to this very blog!)

Steak Diane

1 lb beef tenderloin, sliced into 8 thin filets
2 Tbs butter, divided
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 Tbs shallot, diced
1 tsp mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup heavy cream
about 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
about 1 oz brandy
red wine (mostly for drinking, but reserve a splash or two)
½ tsp salt, plus salt & pepper to taste

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 Tbs butter. Salt & pepper one side of each filet, and place that side down on the hot skillet. Season the upper sides of the filets with salt & pepper as they cook in the skillet for exactly 2 minutes. Flip the filets, cook for 2 minutes on that side, and remove them from the pan.

Turn down the heat to medium, and melt another tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add mushrooms, shallots, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and ½ tsp salt, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender.

Add the cream and cook for 2-3 minutes. The sauce will begin to reduce a bit. Use your splashes of red wine if the sauce looks like it is getting too thick or separating.

Stir in the parsley, saving just a little for garnishing on the plate.

Put the meat back in the pan, and squoosh it around briefly in the sauce.

Here’s the fun part! Add the brandy, stir very briefly (once or twice around the pan), and tilt the pan so the sauce gathers at one edge. Light the fumes coming off of the sauce, and let the fire burn itself out. (This is traditionally done at the table. You should definitely have an audience to appreciate how awesome you are.)

Serve immediately, pouring the sauce over the steak and garnishing with parsley.

**NOTE: This method should cook the steaks to medium rare. If you want them more done (though I don’t think you should), just cook them longer on each side.

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