Diane Sauce spooned over steak

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A vintage favourite, this Diane sauce is ridiculously creamy and perfect spooned over a tender, juicy steak. It takes less than 15 minutes to make yet is fancy enough to serve at a dinner party or your next date night.

What is it?

Diane sauce is a creamy and rich sauce made with mushrooms and cognac. It is commonly believed to be a French dish, but, in actuality, there is no clear indication of where it originated from. Steak Diane (simply Diane sauce served over steak) was extremely popular around the 1940s. It where it was often served in an elaborate manner, flambéing the sauce next to the table of the diners (setting the pan alight to burn out the alcohol in the sauce).

Despite being a retro restaurant classic, it’s a super simple sauce to make (and the flambéing is optional). Plus, it’s rich and indulgent enough that it feels a little special. Make this for your family or friends and it’s sure to be a hit.

What can I serve it with?

The most common use of this sauce is Steak Diane – where you can simply serve this with a steak, cooked to your liking. For this, I recommend first cooking the steak and then while the steak is resting you can prepare the sauce in the same pan. It’s a very quick sauce to make, taking less than 10 minutes to prepare. You can pair the steak with:

If steak isn’t your thing, then you could also try this served over a seared chicken breast. It also works as an alternative to gravy with roast beef. It’s a great dipping sauce for chips (fries for my US friends) too.

Closeup of steak with Diane Sauce

Can I make it in advance?

Diane sauce is great to make in advance. Simply keep sealed in the fridge for up to 3 days and then reheat gently on the hob/stove.

You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Cover the top with clingfilm before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating. You may find it separates a little but should come back together when stirred.

Can I use brandy instead of cognac?

Brandy is to cognac what prosecco is to champagne. Cognac is a very specific type of brandy that can only be produced in the Cognac region of France. Whereas brandy can be produced anywhere.

Which you use doesn’t really make a difference, as long as you spring for a really high-quality bottle if you do choose to use brandy. You may want to add a little extra mustard and/or Worcestershire sauce for flavour.

Can I make it without alcohol?

The cognac in this recipe adds a lot of flavour to the sauce. Plus, the alcohol burns off during the cooking process so the end result is not alcoholic. However, if you don’t use alcohol-based products then you can use beef stock instead.

What is it made of?

The main ingredients of a classic Diane sauce are:

Diane Sauce Ingredients
  • Mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Shallots, finely diced
  • Garlic
  • Dijon mustard
  • Cognac
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cream (opt for double cream if you are in the UK or heavy cream in other places)

For a full list of ingredients including measurements and weights jump to the printable recipe card.

How to make it

See the recipe card below for detailed instructions and recipe tips.

Recipe Steps
  1. Saute the shallots and mushrooms in a frying pan/skillet until the mushrooms are lightly golden – around 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and mustard and stir everything together and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add the cognac to the pan and, if you want to flambé the sauce, very carefully light it with a long lighter or match with the pan tilted away from you.
  4. Once the alcohol has burnt off add the Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Add the cream and cook for a further minute or so until thickened.

Looking for more great sauce recipes? Try:

Products that work well for this recipe:

Lodge Cast Iron Pan

– Rated best heavy frying skillet on Amazon – 10 inch size – Suitable for use on induction, ceramic, electric and gas cooktops, as well as in the oven, on the stove, in the grill and on barbecues/campfires

2 in 1 Garlic Press

Can be used to mince, crush or slice garlic. Food Grade Stainless Steel with Non-Slip Handle

Herb Keepers

It’ll keep what’s left of your bunch perky for longer – perfect for the fridge door!
Print
Diane Sauce spooned over steak

Diane Sauce


  • Author: caroline
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This retro restaurant classic, Diane Sauce, is super simple to make and it’s rich and indulgent enough that it feels a little special.

The default recipe serves 4


Scale

Ingredients

SERVES 4

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 125ml / 1/2 cup cognac (see note 1 & 2)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 125ml / 1/2 cup double or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Don’t worry if you get brown bits of shallot stuck to the bottom of the pan – this will add to the flavour. 
  2. Add the garlic and mustard and stir everything together and cook for a further minute. 
  3. If you want to flambé the sauce (set the alcohol alight in the pan): Increase the heat to high and standing back with arms outstretched, tilt the pan away from you. Pour in the cognac and use a long match or lighter to set the alcohol alight. Swill the pan a few times and the flame will disappear after a few moments as the alcohol burns out. (see note 4 & 5)
  4. If you don’t want to flambé the sauce: Carefully pour in the brandy, keeping it away from the flames if you are cooking on a flame/gas hob/stove. Stir everything for a minute or two until the cognac has reduced down and the alcohol evaporated. 
  5. Use a wooden spoon to loosen any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir everything together. 
  6. Add the cream and cook for a further couple of minutes until thickened. Stir through the chopped parsley and season to taste. 

Notes

  1. You can use good quality brandy instead of cognac (cognac is simply the name given to brandy produced in the cognac region).
  2. The alcohol burns out during the cooking process, but if you don’t want to use any alcohol then you can use beef stock instead of the cognac.
  3. If you are making this to go with steak then you can simply use the same pan as you just cooked the steak in and the residual oil or butter and make this while the steak rests. 
  4. For safety, measure out the cognac separately into a glass before adding it to the pan.
  5. You can also tilt the pan slightly into the flame if you are using a gas cooker, although a little trickier to get the hang of – and be very careful!
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Hob / Stove
  • Cuisine: Sauce

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Protein: 1g

Keywords: sauce, steak sauce, mushrooms, indulgent, cream

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