This roasted cauliflower steak recipe with mushroom gravy sauce is a vegan alternative to regular steak that makes for a sophisticated and gourmet main dish full of flavor, fiber, and none of the guilt or saturated fat in a porterhouse.
I’m normally not a fan of mimicking animal protein dishes. There are so many products out there that fulfill the vegan palate with animal-friendly versions of common foods – burgers, eggs, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks, etc. While I appreciate the options on the market and recognize their role, after some time, my regular consumption of such products starts to feels tacky (and unhealthy) to me, like I am filling a hole with knockoffs of foods I consciously decided to forgo for the sake of my health and my animal friends. There should be no said hole to fill, in actuality, especially not with over-processed, not-so-nutritionally-dense alternatives. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes can be enough to keep me dedicated to vegan living! So, instead of reaching for a faux factory-made steak, I started to get creative with simple fruits and vegetables readily available to me.
In this cauliflower steak recipe, the cauliflower is not meant to taste and feel like a steak, it’s meant to offer the “experience” of steak – that is, the emotional and social connotations of steak. When we have steak, it’s a special occasion. It’s ceremonial and proper. We eat it slow. We chew thoroughly. We enjoy each bite. This cauliflower steak recipe is about appreciating the cauliflower in all its glory, including the fact that no cow was sacrificed for the moment.
Buying the Ingredients
Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family and chock-full of nutrition. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is also a source of choline, potassium, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. One cup of chopped cauliflower is only 23 calories, but packs in over two grams each of protein and dietary fiber.
When searching for cauliflower, choose a head that is vibrantly white, compact, and firm. This ensures that your cauliflower steak bakes to a dense, filling finish.
You won’t require any fancy gadgets to make this dish, but should be careful when slicing the cauliflower into steak-like pieces. While you should remove any leaves attached the core, do not remove the core itself. The stem is essential in keeping the steaks intact. Removing the core would result in a bunch of cauliflower florets, rather than thick steaks. Make sure you have a large, sharp knife on hand that can easily slice through an entire cauliflower head.
This cauliflower steak recipe calls for brandy and white wine, both of which you can omit if you avoid alcohol. However, they do add great taste! The recipe also lists non-dairy butter as the fat used for searing the steak. My favorite brand is Earth Balance, but you can easily substitute it with olive oil or any other vegetable oil.
As you prepare the cauliflower steak, consider a grain side dish to cook alongside it in anticipation of a rounded meal. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Steak Recipe with Vegan Mushroom Gravy Sauce
A delicious cauliflower steak recipe with vegan mushroom gravy.
- 1 head cauliflower, sliced along the core into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the cauliflower head into 1 1/2-inch thick slices and place them into a baking dish. Top with the garlic cloves, vegetable stock, white wine, and salt. Cover the baking dish with foil and place it into the oven for 30 minutes. Check to see that the cauliflower steaks are lightly tender (but not too soft!) and remove the dish from the oven. Remove the cauliflower from the liquid and set them on a paper-towel-lined dish to absorb excess liquid.
- While the cauliflower cooks, prepare the gravy. In a pan over medium-high eat, add the oil, butter, and shallot. Stir and cook for two to three minutes. Add in the salt, pepper, bay leaves, and mushrooms. Stir until well combined and let the mushrooms "sweat" while they cook. Once the mushrooms have wilted and most of their liquid has cooked off, add in the brandy. Stir and cook for five minutes before pouring in the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook and reduce in volume while you sear the "steaks".
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add peppercorns and one tablespoon each of oil and butter. Once the butter has melted and the peppercorns have cooked in the fat for about 30 to 45 seconds, add the cauliflower steaks in a single line in the fat to sear. Cook for four to five minutes on each side until browned.
- Place the cauliflower steak on a plate and top with the mushroom gravy sauce. Each person can enjoy two to three steaks each.