Venison Steak Diane

4.98 from 119 votes
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Venison steak Diane on the plate
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Steak Diane. What can I say? This dish was already passé when I first began going to restaurants as a boy in the 1970s; its heyday in America was in the 1950s and 1960s, when French cooking was all the rage. (Thanks, Julia!)

Most people who remember this dish remember it as beef filet mignon with a zippy sauce of mustard, Worcestershire sauce, demi-glace, cream and shallots — all flambéed at the table with cognac.

Ritzy, eh? Well, my version of steak Diane is a little less flamboyant, and it hearkens back to the dish’s roots. Diane, you see, is really Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. And Sauce Diane, at least in its proto-form, was first mentioned by Escoffier in his Le Guide Culinaire back in 1907. And it was a sauce not for beef, but for venison.

It is a classic for a reason. This sauce is so good you must have lots of bread around to sop it up. If you don’t, you will find yourself licking the plate, and that’s not very polite.

I developed this recipe more than a decade ago, and I am more than happy with my version, which is a little stronger flavored than a typical steak Diane; it seems appropriate considering that venison is more strongly flavored than beef.

Over the years it has become one of my most popular recipes. Not a week goes by that I don’t get a note from someone who made this and loved it. I am very happy to have played a small part in reviving this classic.

Serve steak Diane with a big red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Petit Verdot or Graciano.

This is absolutely a date-night dish, but it is also so easy to make you can whip it up on a Wednesday night. So I suppose if you have a Wednesday night date it would be perfect…

Venison steak Diane
4.98 from 119 votes

Venison Steak Diane

Steak Diane really needs a tender cut, and with venison that means tenderloin or backstrap. The best way to cook this is with a large piece of backstrap that you then cut into medallions right before you serve. If you have regular medallions, it will still work. While it is important to use heavy cream for this recipe (lighter creams will separate), it is not that important to have fancy brandy for this recipe -- just use something you would drink, OK?
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes


  • 1/2 pound piece of venison backstrap or tenderloin
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup venison stock or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I use Dijon)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Minced herbs for garnish (basil parsley, chives, etc)


  • Bring the venison loin out of the fridge, salt it well and let it come to room temperature, at least 20 minutes.
  • Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat for about 90 seconds. Pat the venison dry with a paper towel and cook it on all sides. Turn the heat to medium so the butter doesn't scorch, and take your time. It should take about 8 to 10 minutes or so to get a nice brown crust on the venison without overcooking the center. Remove the venison, tent loosely with foil and set aside.
  • Add the shallots to the saute pan and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Don't let the garlic burn. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping off any stuck-on bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Let the brandy cook down almost to a glaze, then add the venison stock, tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Let this boil down until a wooden spoon dragged across the pan leaves a trail behind it that does not fill in for a second or two. This should take about 3 minutes on high heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let the boiling subside. Stir in cream until the sauce is as light as you like. Don't let the sauce boil again or it could break.
  • Slice the venison into thick medallions. If you find you have not cooked it enough, let the meat swim in the sauce for a few moments to heat through. If the venison is to your liking, pour some sauce on a plate and top with the meat. Garnish with some chopped herbs. Chives are traditional, but basil and parsley are also nice. 



Looking for another classic to make with venison tenderloin? Try Venison with Cumberland Sauce.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 871mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 909IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Have made this recipe a few times and it is great. If you follow Hunt Gather Cook on Facebook, you already know, as it makes almost a daily appearance. Melissa is kinda anti-gravy, so she wasn’t excited at all about this recipe, but I think it blew her away how damn good it was. That ain’t gravy hun, lol!

  2. Great recipe, thanks! I used a Moose roast for this one, marinated it in red wine and seasoning salt for 6hrs. Also included a handful of chanterelles in the sauce. Deelish!

  3. This dish is both a revered old friend and a revelation. Every time I make it I can’t believe I created something so good in my humble kitchen. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this recipe, Hank. I love the beautiful deer on my land and always want to do justice to their wonderful meat, this recipe and all the ones Hank designs for us are worthy of this special animal

  4. One of our favorites!! We always make extra potatoes or have good bread because none of that sauce is going to waste!

  5. I love this dish so very much. I’ve made it multiple times. Hubby loves it so much that I’m thinking it may be able to enjoy goose if I make it this way!

  6. This is the first dish we make with the very first deer of the season. The whole family looks forward to it. I recommend this recipe to anyone who tells me they don’t like venison. Always a hit.

  7. This is an astonishing recipe. Everyone in my family loves it whenever I make it, even the picky eaters. It’s truly rich and wonderful.

  8. Absolutely loved this recipe! We ate all the venison, but there was still sauce left, and my husband liked it so much he ate it on bread haha! We have a freezer full of elk and venison. So happy to have found your website!

  9. This is our favorite go to venison recipe! I use Cabernet instead brandy and always double the sauce!!! Soooo good! Serve with egg noodles, salad and bread ?

  10. Finally took my turn at this classic. Was recently gifted some venison from a friend, including some loin, and some venison demi-glacé. Used some of my homemade mushroom ketchup instead of the Worcestershire. Very much the same flavors and consistency as the Worcestershire. Wow! Now I know what everyone is raving about. Paired well with a ‘14 Luigi Bosca Malbec. Now I need to get out and get me a deer this year so I can make this again.