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Filet Steaks with an Irish Whisky & Cream Pan Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

This is a take on Steak Diane, the famous tableside dish served for eons in fancy French and “Continental” restaurants. Instead of the traditional pounded steaks for Steak Diane, I prefer using 1-inch-thick butter-tender beef filet; its somewhat subtle flavor can use the boost of a zesty sauce.


  • 4 1- to 1-1/4-inch-thick pieces beef tenderloin (about 7-1/2 oz. each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil (if not using a cast-iron pan)
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped shallots (from 1 large shallot)
  • 1/4 cup Irish whisky, such as Jameson, or brandy
  • 1/2 cup homemade or low-salt canned beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings without oil
  • Calories (kcal) : 580
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 360
  • Fat (g): 41
  • Saturated Fat (g): 19
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 185
  • Sodium (mg): 450
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 42


  • Season each steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-based (preferably cast-iron) skillet that’s large enough to hold the steaks over high heat until quite hot. (Add the 1 Tbs. vegetable oil if not using cast iron.) Test by touching the edge of one steak to the pan surface; it will sizzle briskly when ready. Immediately drop in the steaks and sear one side for 2 minutes. Sneak a peek to see if the first side is nicely browned. If not, continue to sear that side for another minute or so. Flip the steaks and sear the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high, cook for another 2 minutes, flip, and cook until a digital instant-read thermometer in the center of the meat reads 120°F for rare or 125°F for medium rare, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the steaks to the warm platter and let them rest, covered loosely with foil, while you make the sauce.

To make the pan sauce:

  • Return the unwashed pan to medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant and just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the whisky or brandy and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add the broth and Worcestershire sauce, raise the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Whisk in the mustard and then the cream. Continue to cook at a boil, stirring, until reduced to a saucy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve the steaks with the sauce.


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Reviews (9 reviews)

  • User avater
    EMM3773 | 03/07/2017

    Ab fab, I will be making this again and again! Used Canadian rye whiskey (all I had on hand) and it was wonderful.

  • gigicooks | 02/14/2013

    Absolutely wonderful recipe! Made it for Valentine's Day (see a trend in the reviews?)! Wouldn't change a thing. The steaks were tender and flavorful, the sauce easy to make and wow, so good. The sauce started to thicken after a few minutes cooking away on high. Just takes longer than the recipe states, and so very worth it!

  • arndjess | 01/20/2013

    I've made this recipe lots of times and it's one of my favorites! For the last step, I find that it always takes longer than 3-5 minutes for the sauce to thicken. I just turn the heat up to high and stir it enough so that the bottom doesn't burn. As for whiskeys, I've tried it with Jameson and Laphroaig and both turned out great. I serve it with a baked goat cheese orzo recipe from Williams and Sonoma that complements it really well.

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