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“Put that knife down!”

“Aren’t you ready to eat?”

“Yes, but the meat needs to rest!”

“It’s cooked, shouldn’t we eat it while it’s hot?”

“The meat will stay hot for a long time, but if you cut it now, you will lose the juices all over the cutting board. The meat needs to rest and relax so that the juices can retreat back into their cells.”

“But I’m hungry now!”

And so the argument goes on while I hide the knives in self-defense. Cooking a piece of meat perfectly includes allowing time for the meat to rest, which makes it easier to carve. Hot meat can only be thickly sliced, but cooler meat can be thinly sliced. Of course, the thinner the meat is sliced, the more tender it is in the mouth.

How long should meat rest? One rule is to rest for half of the cooking time (if the steak took 10 minutes to cook, it should rest for 5 minutes). Generally, I let the meat sit (placed away from the dog and other carnivores) for 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the roast. I always let Thanksgiving turkeys rest for 30 minutes.

The ten minutes lag time is a bonus for the cook: now you have time to make a delicious sauce for the meat. The pan in which the meat was cooked is full of flavor nuggets. Take the meat out of the pan (a hot pan will continue to cook the meat), deglaze with wine, add stock, add seasoning, and finish with a little butter and cream. Voila! A simple steak is transformed into Steak Diane.

Steak Diane

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
8 steaks (filet, ribeye, strip, or boneless sirloin)
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brandy
2 cups veal or beef stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Heat the oil and sauté the mushrooms on high heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Set aside. Season the meat with salt and pepper. In another skillet, heat the oil and brown the steaks on both sides. Remove and let rest. Add the butter to the pan and saute the shallots for a minute. Add the brandy and flame. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half. Add the mushroom, mustard, and cream. Check the seasonings and serve with the steak.

One Comment for “Best To Give It A Rest: Steak Diane Recipe”  

  1. EW

    And as you know, it’s really important for slow-cooked meats, such as beef brisket or pork shoulder done on the Big Green Egg. Wrapped in foil (and even newspaper for insulation), these “reabsorb” their juices while resting, so that more of it ends up staying in the meat, rather than just gushing out during slicing/shredding.