Steak Diane with Parslied Potatoes
For this recipe you will need:
16 very small new potatoes, about 11/4 pounds
To prepare this recipe:
While the hot water tap runs, halve the potatoes and put in a 2-quart saucepan. Barely cover them with hot tap water and cook, covered, over high heat, for 12 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, put the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. (If the butcher hasn't done so, pound the steaks between two sheets of aluminum foil or wax paper with the side of a cleaver or a meat pounder before seasoning.) Add the steaks to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes (depending on thickness), turning once halfway through, for medium rare.
While the steaks cook, put the cognac and Madeira in a small saucepan over low heat. Peel and chop the shallots. Chop the chives and the leaves from the parsley sprigs.
When the steaks are cooked on both sides, remove the skillet from the heat and add the warm liquor. Making sure not to lean over the skillet, ignite the liquor with a match, preferably a long fireplace-type. (The flames will shoot up briefly and die down rather quickly. Have a skillet cover ready just in case.)
When the flames subside, increase the heat to high, turn the steaks to coat both sides, then remove them to a cutting board. Add the stock and shallots to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the sauce begins to reduce and lightly thicken. Reduce the heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter.
While the sauce comes together, slice the steaks and arrange the slices on a platter. Spoon the sauce over them and sprinkle with the chives. Drain the cooked potatoes and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Put the potatoes in a small serving bowl.