What Exactly Is Steak Diane, And Where Does It Get Its Name?

Steak Diane on a plate
Steak Diane on a plate - Africa Studio/Shutterstock

The dish steak Diane found popularity in the 1950s and '60s, particularly in New York, and originally as a way to serve venison. The seasoned steak is cooked in a buttery pan, with a bit of cognac added to deglaze the pan after the steaks cook, and it's flambéed before being turned into a sauce. In restaurants, the flambéing was often done tableside as entertainment for diners.

The sauce is made with broth, cream, mushrooms, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. These are all added into the deglazing cognac and are mixed into a sauce to serve on top of the steak.

Though venison is one meat of choice in the dish, thinly sliced filet mignon or strip steak are also common proteins. So long as the cut of meat is tender and thin enough to cook properly, it's a suitable substitution when making steak Diane. However, its origins using venison lend a hint to where its name came from.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

The Dish's Name Has Mythological Roots

Statue of Roman goddess Diana and deer
Statue of Roman goddess Diana and deer - Anna Krivitskaya/Shutterstock

A Roman goddess may have inspired the steak Diane's name. In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of wild animals and hunting. The story goes that when a hunter found her bathing one day, she turned him into a stag out of anger. The symbol of a deer became almost synonymous with her image, and portraits and statues of Diana often included the animal.

Sauce a la Diane was a popular condiment of the 1800s, comprised of cream, truffles, and black pepper. Because it was often used to flavor venison meat from deer, the sauce got its name due to the correlation. When cooked egg white was added to the sauce in the early 1900s, it was called "sauce Diane."

Eventually, the original sauce, a la Diane, served as the inspiration for topping off the meat in the dish that would be called steak Diane. Today, the sauce used in the steak dish is still cream-based and seasoned with pepper, just like the original sauce a la Diane -- though truffles aren't always included, and there are many other added ingredients.

It's Unclear Where The Dish Originated

Slice of steak Diane
Slice of steak Diane - Leigh Anne Meeks/Shutterstock

The origins of steak Diane are heavily debated. Some say the dish came from Brazil, Belgium, or Australia, though America is often accepted as its most likely country of origin. A January 25, 1953 article in the New York Times cites three possible places of invention, all based in New York City: The Drake Hotel, the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, and the Colony Restaurant. Each of these locations had its own similar recipe for the dish, though it was unclear which location had been the first to serve it.

The preparation method has remained mostly the same regardless of where the steak dish was invented. Using the sauce is essential to making the dish since the name comes from the sauce that tops it off. After your thinly sliced steak has cooked, add your sauce from the pan on top of the cuts of meat, and serve the dish alongside some mushrooms, mashed potatoes, or other vegetables.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.