icon Steak Diane from Elk or Deer
with Red Wine Sauce

from Hotel Berghof, Zermatt

Cooking Steak Diane is a show-off restaurant production, usually done at the table. Filets are rubbed with garlic, salt and pepper, quickly fried in clarified butter, vegetables are addded in quick succcession, the mixture is flamed with cognac, more spices are added and, voilà, it's finished. The individual steps happen with timed precision and, if done properly, it's a great show.

The traditional recipe for Steak Diane calls for reduced veal stock. To prepare it from scratch takes several hours and the result is usually a pot of stock. The problem is that the recipe only calls for 1/4 cup! This makes Steak Diane a bit impractical for home cooking, unless one is prepared to to spend half a day making a pot of veal stock, then using just a small amount of it and freezing the rest for other uses.

Here is a recipe for Steak Diane with deer or elk meat, from Switzerland.


  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • 4 small (4-6 oz) filet mignon steaks from elk, deer or beef
  • Several garlic cloves, whole
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • cup sliced brown mushroom caps, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp cognac
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup reduced veal stock, beef broth will have to do if time is of the essence
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 drops hot red pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley leaves


  1. Rub the filets on both sides with garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Melt and heat the clarified butter in a large saucepan until very hot and sizzling.
  3. Fry the filets over high heat on each side: 45 seconds on the first side and 30 seconds on the other side.
  4. Add the shallots to the side of the pan and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds.
  5. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft, 2 minutes.
  6. Place the meat on a plate and cover to keep warm.
  7. Reduce heat and flame everything with the cognac: tilt the pan toward you and add the cognac; tip the pan away from yourself and ignite the brandy with a match.
  8. When the flame has burned out, add the wine, mustard and cream. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  9. Add the veal stock and simmer for 1 minute.
  10. Add the Worcestershire Sauce and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
  11. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn the meat to coat with the sauce.
  12. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions and parsley.
  13. Arrange on warmed plates and serve.
  14. YIELD: 4 servings.

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Last updated: December 1, 2009