Dr. Tim Says….
When I discuss cholesterol results with patients they’ll often tell me, “I’ll stop eating red meat.” Unfortunately, it’s not that red meat is bad for you, but folks generally eat too much of it and also don’t choose the right cuts.
Beef is okay for you, but it’s best to not to eat it more than about once a week. It’s the amount of fat in beef that you want to keep an eye on, so choosing lean beef is the key. Keep your choices under 10 grams of fat with less than 4 grams of saturated fat in a four ounce serving. Read the article on beef in our “How to Eat Healthy” series (or just start the series at the beginning.)
The key to making a great pan sauce is to build it in layers. You could simply throw a lot of butter and heavy cream in the pan with a big pinch of salt and end up with an OK sauce.
For the refined flavor that you are looking for in Steak Diane, it takes a few more minutes but the result is worth it. Sautéing the shallots until they are limp softens the flavor and sweetens them. Cooking the mushrooms until they are lightly caramelized brings out their full umami flavor. That umami flavor is enhanced by the Worcestershire and beef broth, with the lemon juice adding a sour note. Lightly salting doesn’t overpower the other flavors and there is a little bit of bitterness in the brandy and mustard that round this dish out by activating all of your taste buds.
Using the combination of milk and cornstarch creates a rich mouthfeel that is enhanced by just a touch of richness from the butter.
This dish was cooked in restaurants at tableside when I first started in the restaurant business and the waiter would flame the brandy with dramatic flourish. I loved that show but the flavor of the dish is what stays with me after I eat it.