Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Minute Steak with Quickie Cognac Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 servings



  1. Put some oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place the steak on a plastic board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the steak with the flat side of a meat mallet until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap.
  3. Sprinkle the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to visibly smoke, add the steak to the skillet. Cook on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. (Resist the temptation to flip or move the steak as it cooks.) Turn the steak on the second side and cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer registers between 125 and 130 degrees F for rare, between 130 and 135 degrees F for medium-rare, or between 135 and 140 degrees F for medium, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and mince the shallots.
  5. Remove the steak from the skillet to a clean plastic cutting board while you make the sauce. Pour off the excess grease from the skillet. Add the shallots to the skillet along with the butter and cook until the shallots are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Pull the skillet off the heat and add the cognac. Gently tilt the skillet towards the flame to ignite the alcohol. Cook until the flame subsides and the liquid reduces almost completely. (See below for an alternative method for igniting alcohol.) Add the beef stock, mustard and vinegar and stir to combine. Reduce until thick, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, thinly slice the chives. Add the steak and any accumulated juices back to the skillet. Spoon the shallots and juices over the steak, then transfer back to the cutting board. Slice the steak, then arrange on a serving platter. Spoon over any additional sauce and sprinkle the sliced chives over the top.

Cook’s Note

A minute steak is a thin, quick-cooking cut of beef that can be a great weeknight fix when dinner needs to get on the table in a hurry. While it might take more than a minute, it is quick! I love pounding hanger steaks, rib eyes or sirloin thin and cooking them this way. Use whatever cut of beef suits your taste and budget. Traditional minute steaks are usually 4 to 5 ounces. Here we are making one large one that serves two people. If you do not want to use alcohol, you can substitute 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar for the cognac.