Steak Diane with lemony asparagus

From Adam Ragusea.

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2 steaks about 1/2 lb (227g), tenderloin or strip would be good
1/2 lb (227g) mushrooms
1 shallot
3-4 cloves garlic
1 lb (454g) asparagus
1 lemon
fresh parsley for garnish
stock (about a cup)
cognac or other brown liquor (can skip)
tomato paste
Worcestershire sauce

Trim the mushrooms, slice them and reserve for later.

Peel and finely chop the shallot and garlic. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Put half the shallot and garlic on a sheet pan along with the asparagus and toss to coat everything in oil, salt and pepper. Reserve for later.

Trim anything inedible off of the steaks — they’ll be covered in sauce so you won’t be able to eat around big chunks of fat or connective tissue. Coat with oil, salt and pepper.

Put the steaks in a very hot pan, along with any large trimmings you might want to use to flavor the sauce. Sear the steaks as well as you can, being careful to keep the heat from getting too hot and burning the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan.

When pink juice starts to push to the surface, that’s a good sign the steaks are approaching medium rare — when in doubt, pull the steaks out, because they’re going to cook a little more later inside the sauce. Scraps can stay in the pan at this point to help flavor the sauce.

With the steaks out, put in the mushrooms with a little more oil if they need it to brown. As soon as you have some color on the mushrooms, stir in the remaining shallot and garlic along with a squeeze of tomato paste.

When everything in the pan is brown, deglaze with cognac (turn off the flame if using a gas stove so as to not ignite the alcohol). Reduce the cognac until almost dry. Pour in the stock, along with a squeeze of mustard and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Reduce until almost dry.

This is would be a good time to put the asparagus under a broiler/grill at maximum heat — they’ll only take a few minutes to brown and go tender.

Once the sauce has reduced to a sticky glaze, take out any beef scraps you may have left in the pan.

Stir in as much cream as you want to finish the sauce — it’ll have to simmer for a few minutes before it fully thickens. Taste for seasoning — it should be a little too salty/strong on its own. Consider adding salt, pepper, Worcestershire or a little lemon juice.

Return the steaks to the pan along with any resting juices, coat them in the sauce and let them reheat for a couple minutes. Stir in fresh parsley at the last second. Serve smothered in sauce alongside the asparagus.