Friday, May 20, 2016

Steak Pauline (The Steak Formerly Known as Diane)

As you may know, I haven’t posted for a while due to the sudden passing of my mother, Pauline. It’d been a tough few weeks, but she was the ultimate, “the show must go on” kind of lady, and so that’s what we’ll do. She had multiple surgeries in recent years that made it difficult, and often painful, to move around her kitchen. Despite this, she’d still somehow manage to bake a cake (or two), or make a big batch of cookies to bring to whatever family event she was attending.

While cooking and eating with family was her greatest joy, she also loved going to restaurants. Going out for dinner on Friday night was one of our great family traditions, and while I don’t remember having Steak Diane cooked table-side, this dish represents that bygone era for me. Looking back, I realize this weekly respite meant much more to her than just a short break from cooking and dishes.

Before I get into the recipe, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for all the amazing thoughts and prayers I received during the last couple weeks. I’ve never met the vast majority of you, but nevertheless, it felt like I was hearing from hundreds of old friends, who somehow knew exactly what to say. There’s no easy way to lose someone you love, but your kind, comforting words, gave me strength.

With that in mind, I present this incredibly delicious, Steak Diane, which I’m hereby renaming Steak Pauline, in my mother’s honor. Of course, there’s no official way to do this, except to simply do it, and hope it catches on. Even if it doesn’t, at the very least, many years from now, while surfing the web, I’ll stumble across a recipe for it, and I’ll smile, thinking of her.

The procedure here is very straightforward, and relatively safe, except maybe for the exploding fireball step. As long as you turn off the flame, and keep your eyebrows at a safe distance while igniting the liquor, there shouldn’t be any real danger, and all those Oo’s and Ah’s are well worth the risk. Hey, that’s what insurance is for.

However, the pyrotechnics are very much for show, and if you’re concerned, you don't have to ignite the cognac. The alcohol will still evaporate as the sauce boils, and the end result will taste the same. By the way, even if you don’t ignite the pan with a lighter, it can still flame up when you turn up the heat to reduce, so you still need to be a little careful.

If you do decide to make this, I hope that above and beyond calling it “Steak Pauline,” you will also enjoy it surrounded by the people you love. While the flames in the pan eventually die out, the smiles they ignite, and the memories they produce, will be with you forever. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:

For the sauce mixture:
1 generous tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tomato paste
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup demi-glace (Or substitute 2 cups rich, low-sodium or salt-free chicken broth. It will take longer to reduce, but will still produce a great sauce. Just be careful with the salt.)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
two (8-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, fully trimmed, pounded to 1/2-inch thick (top sirloin will also work nicely here)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely minced shallots
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon sliced fresh chives

69 comments:

dan said...

We're happy to have you back, Chef.

All the best to you and your family.

rashep142 said...

Welcome back, Chef John. You were missed.

rashep142 said...

Welcome back, Chef John. It's good to hear your voice again.

Felipe Rosa said...

Steak Pauline is a much better name...she deserves it!
Thank you for all the videos, I'm a better home cook because of you ( don't tell Jacques Pepin I said that)

PhillyBear said...

Glad to see you back, Chef. I'll be making Steak Pauline, for sure!

Joe Eoj said...

Last time I bought Brandy I relapsed and it took me a few months to get back on track.

This time will be different though. I'll only use it for cooking, No using it sporadically 2 or 3 times in dishes only to wake early one morning with a need and a will to drink the whole bottle. That nonsense only ends with the ever depressing lounge at Grove Motor Inn and calling taxi cabs at midnight for joyless jaunts to the liquor store.

Food Junkie said...

Thanks for the recipe Chef and it is good to have you back. I've lost both my parents and know what a sad, hectic time you have had the past couple of weeks. This is a nice tribute to Pauline. I will definitely try this and raise a glass to her and your family when I do. God Bless.

Mike said...

Welcome back, John. You were missed but we all felt, in some way, your loss. Nice tribute to your mom. As for Steak Pauline: I did have it cooked table side once, to the dismay, as it turned out, of the maitre d. While finishing the sauce a caper somehow exploded --- right into his eye! No long term damage, but the dish never reappeared on the menu.

M said...

Chef John, I've been watching your videos for years, and I want to extend my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Hold on and I wish you all the best in your life, I hope you'll find a strength to go on. Thank you for everything you're doing.

Lish & Matt said...

Condolences to you Chef John and your family. What a lovely way to remember your mother, I'll be sure to share this recipe with my family in the future and name it correctly :-)

Jeff the Patio Chef said...

Glad to see you back John. I had meant to send my condolences earlier but time and my emotions got the best of me. Having lost my own mother fairly early in life I know how challenging it is to cope with the loss. This is fitting tribute to your mother and I will forever refer to it as such. I pray that God will continue to provide you with strength and comfort and a peace that exceeds your understanding.

BUNNIE Lawrence said...

Nice to have you back Chef, sorry you have had such a sad time.

This looks deelish. One thing has always bothered me as a Brit, why do peepe in the US change their fork into their right hand to eat?

Eric Thomas said...

So glad to see you back Chef. In honor of your Mother and you, I am making Steak Pauline tonight! I've always wanted to make this and I'm sure it will be a part of my repertoire.

Ying Jie-Jie said...

Missed you, Chef. Welcome back.

Bob Jones said...

Welcome back. Clifton Springs is minus 1 angel now. God Bless you and your family.

Vlad said...

Just made this, and it was awesome! I did get tricked by the sauce and overcooked the meat, but it was delicious. bonus pic: http://i.imgur.com/CAGIw6z.jpg

Vlad said...

Just made this, and it was awesome! I did get tricked by the sauce and overcooked the meat, but it was delicious. bonus pic: http://i.imgur.com/CAGIw6z.jpg

EKM said...

Thank you so much for posting this so soon after losing your Mum. I'm personally excited that you've shown a use for demi glace as I had been planning on making it soon. I was actually going to make it this week but I realised the butcher I usually go in Russian Hill only slaughters a few cows a week and so they never have veal products, necessitating a search for a butcher who will get that for me. Please take good care of you and I hope you will show us some more uses for our demi glace soon. Xoxo

Mark Anderson said...

What a lovely tribute and so good to see you back

john smith said...

welcome back chef, glad your spirit is up but im sure with a heavy heart.

Dan and Hilary said...

You're a real class act Chef John, and that was by far the nicest post (not sure but I think I trolled through and read them all) I have ever read of yours in the 9 years I have been closely following your blog.

Welcome back pal

BFA76 said...

Such beautiful words, Chef. My children and I love your recipes and watch them together several times a week. Having lost my mother in 2015 (too young), I found reading your latest post to be truly moving. I look forward to cooking Steak Pauline in the near future, and raising my wine glass to two great ladies.

Helen Wong said...

You were missed and my kitchen will be a happier place now that you are back.

panda said...

Good to see you back Chef John. I am sorry about your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you

Albert Taylor said...

Welcome back chef, You were truly missed. I know this will sound hollow to you right now but the pain of losing mom WILL be replaced with wonderful loving memories at some point.

I will be cooking this recipe this week and may God Bless and keep you.

WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!

draceanaqueen said...

I think I like the name Steak Pauline.

Steve Kennedy said...

Steak Pauline is going on my weekly menu for awhile. This was very tasty and low prep. Anything this easy to make, shouldn't taste so good.
I watched the vid twice, walked into the kitchen and messed up with my first intermediate. I put two tblsp of Dijon into a bowl and got everything else right. So I just went back and doubled the pan sauce recipe. Added more worch. and paste and cayenne, then used 4 cups of broth, doubled the shallot.
I had so much pan sauce and no potatoes, I served it with steamed asparagus. But I did have a loaf of honey wheat bread.
I think I am going to put all the dishes in some hot water and deal with them in the A.M. Between the steak, the asparagus and the bread and gravy, I had to waddle to the sink to rinse it off.

rodentraiser said...

Welcome back, Chef John! You were very much missed. And you know what else? If you want to make a tribute to your mom for the next month or even longer with all her favorite dishes, that's fine with all of us. You can't celebrate a life with just one blog, you know! Although I suppose some things should be off limits. I threatened to come back and haunt my best friend if she ever shared how I set the cat on fire trying to fry chicken. But never mind that....welcome back!

And after the cat fiasco, I don't think I'm going to be setting the cognac in Steak Pauline on fire.

Gemmagirl said...

Your easy going manner, dedication and love of cooking are a great tribute to this amazing woman. May her memory sustain you through this difficult time.
Peace, prayers and well being.
Diana

kinjun ranger said...

Thank you Chef John. I will be making this very soon in honor of your family.

Welcome back to the extended family you have created for us all.

We do Enjoy!!!!

IT Performance and Availability said...

Welcome back Chef. I'm sorry for your loss. But equally I hope you know that the joy of cooking you have brought to me and my family through your commitment to quality and great sense of humour has helped us through some tough times including the loss of my best friend. It's clear the joy in cooking, eating and life was passed to you and in some small part you have passed that to us through your amazing videos. Thank you.

John said...

Looks Amazing! Know you needed time off.
Glad to have you back!

Kim Koch said...

You are a good son! She's certainly proud and will always be with you. Thank you for cooking with us!!!!

Monica said...

happy you are back and seeing the memories of time with Mum is filling your heart with love. Enjoy every moment she flashes through you mind, wherever whenever.

Anne Tjebbes said...

A beautiful (and delicious) ode to your beloved mother. I will try it! and henceforth shall it ALWAYS be known as Steak Pauline!

Sandra from Montreal said...

Welcome back; we missed you! What a lovely tribute to your Mom (who must have been very proud of you). Steak Pauline will be on the menu this week at our house.

Dale Percy said...

I tried this tonight! I cut the ingredients in half, because it was only for me, but still, it was really, really delicious. Thing was though, I have an induction range, so heat control can be a thing (no the brandy didn't ignite), so when I had to reduce the heat, I threw in some mushrooms I had previously sauteed and keep in the freezer when the onions were frying. Ah, frozen vegetables -- the bachelor's second best friend.

My "Steak Pauline" turned out great, and I highly recommend it. Thanks for the recipe!

Dale

p.s. Any ideas what I can do with the rest of this brandy? I'm more of a beer-drinking kinda guy.

Adam Mahon said...

This is a beautiful tribute, Chef- It's so good to have you back. No one has helped me elevate my cooking more than you, and it is a gift i share with my family and friends as much as i possibly can! So, really, they have you to thank for their happy bellies. thank you, John!

Ron said...

My deepest condolences to hearing that you lost your mother, and only time will help make things easier, glad to see you wish to honor her memory.

I appreciate that you have demo'ed this dish, as my culinary arts class for summer term has this dish along with a pork chop with a modern soubise with a pork chop among other things to be served.

I continue to look forward to what you will cook up next.

Chuck said...

A beautiful and thoughtful essay and tribute; this blog has meant a lot over the last bunch of years.
Thank you and God Bless.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

So glad that you are back with this lovely tribute to your wonderful Mom. I think she would certainly have appreciated "Steak Pauline"!
Still sending prayers your way.

Anthony Vaiana said...

Looks like I'll me making Streak Pauline this week. Glad you're back Chef! Also I can't tell you how many times I re-watched your moms pie crust video on how to crimp the edges. I still go back and watch it anytime I'm making a pie.

Robin Betts said...

Welcome back, chef J. Looking forward to your cheat's demi-glace... I use reduced canned consommé.. which is ok, but..

Raymond Keeler said...

looks like steak pauline to me!!

Tman said...

Thank you Chef John! My Mom and I just made this together and it was delectable! We used chicken stock but I next time we will have Demi-glacé ready for it. And also easy on the Worcestershire, we didn't need any salt at the end at all. Thanks again! Here's a shot of the final product https://instagram.com/p/BFurpTrQdTE/

Unknown said...

Thank you Chef! What a wonderful tribute to your mother; my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Thank you so much for all that you give to this community; I have no doubt you are a reflection of your dear mother. I will enjoy making your Steak Pauline (as I enjoy all your wonderful dishes I have made in my kitchen) and I'm certain it will bring a little smile to my face for our grassroots efforts in renaming this fabulous dish. God Bless you and yours.

Sheryl

Unknown said...

Wishing you all the best Chef John. I will cook a Steak Pauline and raise a glass to you and your family.

Alan Riegelsberger said...

Sorry to hear about your mother John, glad to have you back.

Ann said...

I could not express my condolences earlier because it was too emotional. I lost my mom just a few days before Mother's Day when I was a teenager. Your mom looks like an incredible woman - beautiful and with a ton of personality! You two must have been so proud of each other. May you be blessed with comfort, love, and many tender memories as you go through the grieving process.

Liah said...

#SteakPauline... Much better

Debra Gordon said...

Chef John: You are my go to for recipes. I love your videos and your voice is always so soothing, with a bit of humor thrown in. I am so glad you're back! This dish is a wonderful tribute to your mother.

Bernard Hoffmann said...

Chef you're the best. There's a fine line between art and craft and is all about feelings. You communicate so well with people you don't even know and i can clearly see why: you love this and we can feel it. Your channel is to me more than a simple bunch of videos. Let alone the fact that FW is a living enciclopedia of food in every form and taste, but you really put more than that into your work, that's clear. This video and post made me an even more faithful follower. Last but not least... I'm italian... Your take on our classic cuisine is amazing and you know how jealous we can be about our food. Please keep it up.

rashep142 said...

Chef John, It occurred to me that in the last several years of the life of my mother, who died almost 2 years ago, and for whom I made 3 meals a day, she often enjoyed the benefit of your recipes including chicken and mushrooms, tuna noodle casserole, Chinese style pork ribs, roasted chicken noodle soup, ham and potato soup and many more. In a way, as you credit your mom with your cooking skills, the two ladies are connected via you and then me. Funny how life and cooking works that way. I still make lots of your dishes, but it's still just a bit sad cooking just for one. So, I'll just have to invite people over.
Thanks for all that you do.

philogaia said...

I didn't realize before now that many hearty game dishes got the name of the Goddess attached. I like to think that it comes from that. At any rate one's mother is always the Goddess so this seems very appropriate.

Condolences on your loss. The death of a parent, especially mother, is so, well, life-changing. I lost my father suddenly three years ago and haven't processed it yet. And my own mother is healthy right now but older than any woman in her family when they died. So I just spend what time I can with her. Not sure Steak Beverly has quite the poetry of Steak Pauline but I'll come up with something when the time comes. Her dish may need to be a casserole.

philogaia said...

Joe Eoj: One word, minis. I sometimes buy a mini to cook with. Then I don't have a whole bottle of anything sitting around. ;)

Mikeyj30 said...

Made this for dinner tonight. We raised a glass to your Mom and all Moms everywhere.

Ed Adams said...

Chef,

Glad to have you back and I'm sure you're mom would be elated you got back in there and started working again. I for one, can't wait to attempt this recipe but first a quick trip to the hardware store to pickup a fire extinguisher.

J Kennedy said...

There is a restaurant, Hy's Steakhouse, in Toronto, Canada, that still serves Steak Dianne tableside.

https://b.zmtcdn.com/data/menus/424/8905424/fc9d3c1bda003cb8ddca4b7a6a85005b.jpg

Sunny S. said...

Chef John, we love you! And we made dinner in your honor and your mom's memory last night! https://www.instagram.com/p/BFzCWcMvtle/

Jessica said...

My sincere condolences, Chef John (my favorite chef who's recipes I often make).
May your mother's peaceful rest offer you some comfort.

stanv said...

Welcome back, Chef John.
And thanks for the new, improved name for this classic. It's been ages since I've had it, and the last time, it was cooked tableside by a tuxedoed waiter.

Amy Cook said...

Good to have you back Chef John. Losing your mother is a very hard thing. Until that time you never realize how she has influenced your cooking style and preferences. I loved my mother, but she couldn't cook worth a hoot! So, I take food and cooking very seriously and even though she didn't like my cooking (too much spice and 'fancy' stuff) I miss jumping through the hoops to cook something to make her happy. Our hearts go out to you and to your family.

Steve Hamilton said...

Welcome back Chef !

The Underground Restaurant Chef said...


Sorry for your loss chef. I've enjoyed following your blog and your videos are just first rate. Welcome back. Thanks for the recipe. I have had this prepared table side in San Diego last year at a supper club right off Balboa Park. It's amazing. A dish your Mother would approve of having her name on for sure. Long live Steak Pauline.

Unknown said...

Hello Chef. I have a single brother n law that has trouble getting around his home. It is hard for him to cook. I want to cook meals for him but he live miles away. Please let me know which of your recipes that will be easy for me to prepare and freeze for him. He is a vegetarian but eats seafood as a meat.

Mary said...

Hooray for steak Pauline! This recipe is a keeper, I swigged some cognac for Pauline. I have never lit a pan on fire, and it was climactic for sure, thanks for another great recipe to add to my favorites.

Traci Kaplan said...

Welcome back, Chef John! I'm ready to try more of your recipes. As much as I'd like to make the full throttle Steak Pauline in honor of your mother, I'll have to think long and hard about lighting a match in the kitchen. I look very silly without eyebrows. :) Looking forward to more great videos!

David said...

Chef John,

I just reviewed your "Steak Pauline" recipe on my ROKU enabled TV. I've made similar sauces at home (my favorite Brandy Green Peppercorn sauce) for my bacon wrapped pork tenderloins.

I love making timeless dishes with a history, so I was excited after reviewing your video. You can be sure my fall menu will promently feature this wonderful dish along with bits and pieces of your dialog.

Thank you for elevating meals to exciting events!

Patricia Treslove said...

Sorry for your loss Chef.