When I needed to create a seasonal, on-trend main for a Scottish vegan restaurant, I quickly realised this could easily achieve this by drawing on a combination of tasks from my Rouxbe cooking course. All the individual elements could be prepared in advance then easily finished during a busy service. Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Sauce served with a side of quick-pickled cabbage was on the menu. I wasn’t prepared for how popular this menu item would become, maybe it’s because braised then quickly charred cauliflower smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce is absolutely delicious.
Cauliflower steaks with Mushroom Sauce
To cook your Cauliflower steak
- 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 Tbsp plant-based butter
- 1/2 cup shallots, minced
- 600g mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 60ml brandy
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 250ml plant-based cream, I love Oatly but a soya cream is a gluten free option
- crushed black pepper 1-2 Tbsp – add a little at a time and taste as you go
- sea salt, to taste
Heat oil and plant-based butter in a large stainless steel frypan over medium-high heat.
Saute the shallots until they just start to brown then add the sliced mushrooms to the frypan. Add a pinch of salt to help them release moisture, saute until softened, it should take 10 to 15 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping the bottom of the pan. This is to release any caramelised flavours then cook until most of the brandy has evaporated.
Pour in the vegetable stock, some mushrooms release more liquid than others, so cook until most liquid has evaporated before stirring in the plant-based cream.
Season to taste with black pepper and salt if needed
Quick Pickled Red Cabbage
- 400g red cabbage, core removed, finely shredded (1/2 an average sized cabbage)
- 1 red onion, finely sliced into rings
- 200ml Apple cider vinegar
- 15ml Agave syrup
- 1 Tbsp juniper berries
Put the onion in a saucepan with the vinegar, sugar and juniper berries. Bring the mixture to the boil. Once the onion is starting to soften, pour the mixture over the cabbage, stir well and leave to cool completely.
If you are preparing the mushroom sauce ahead, complete the recipe without adding to cream then prior to serving, re-heat the mushrooms in a large pan and add the plant-based cream and season.
The quick-pickled red cabbage keeps well in the fridge and the flavour improves tastes with time. Generally, I would serve quick pickled cabbage cold, but on a chilly day gently warm before serving.
In warmer weather cauliflower steaks are delicious with a chimichurri sauce
and a side of a fermented red cabbage curtido. Kūmara is another vegetable that works well as a ‘steak’