17 (Fri) June 2011
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Steak Diane is an American dish, maybe. It’s a pan-fried steak with pan gravy, traditionally finished in flambé. No definitive evidence has been shown to determine an exact place or date of origin, but it rose to ubiquity in American restaurants and cookbooks during the mid-20th century. At the time, post-WWII, French cooking was in vogue. Indeed, it’s similar to the classic French steak au poivre, without the peppercorn crust. As the name “Diane” would suggest, a reference to the Roman goddess of hunting, the dish may have been comprised venison or other game meats. Perhaps as the dish fell into the mainstream, beef tenderloin or filet mignon became the default cut.
The version of Steak Diane in the cookbook Emeril’s Delmonico is a pan-fried beef filet mignon in a sauce of garlic, shallots, mushrooms, parsley, scallions, butter, cognac, heavy cream, mustard, worcestershire sauce, stock, salt and pepper, along with the drippings of the meat, all made in the same pan. On paper, the combination of butter, cognac, and heavy cream promised an extravagantly luscious base, balanced out by the mustard and worcestershire, as well as the fresh parsley and scallions tossed in at the end.
Unfortunately, I was careless in the management of time and heat, resulting in various components at various stages being browned or singed or evaporated or – in the case of the cognac, which was supposed to be flambeed until all of the alcohol had burned off – undercooked. Ultimately, the sauce was simultaneously bitter and salty and sour and greasy and – due to the undercooked cognac – boozy.
It also didn’t help that I used really cheap beef tenderloin, which was tasteless and tough.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)
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