If you’re looking for a hearty entree that mimics a classic steak, give this a try. Look for mushrooms with thick stems, which are easier to strip. It takes a few minutes to shred the steamed mushroom stems into umami-rich lengths, but once they’re embedded in your steak, they give it a certain meaty chew that works. Use the caps to make the meaty red-wine sauce spiked with fresh thyme, and you have a delicious meal.
Mushroom Filet Mignon with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce [Vegan]
For the steaks:
- 1/2 pound button mushrooms
- 2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1 tablespoon ground dried mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons vegan beef-flavored broth powder
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups water plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon browning & seasoning sauce
- Canola oil for grilling
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- Set up a steamer.
- Make the steaks: Snap the stems from the mushrooms, reserving the caps. Place the stems in the steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Roll up the mushrooms in a kitchen towel to dry thoroughly.
- Using your fingers, shred the stems into fibers, trying to get them as thinly stripped as possible. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, mushroom powder, onion powder, and 1 tablespoon of the broth powder.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 cup of the water, the tamari, and the Worcestershire sauce. Add the wet mixture and the mushroom stems to the dry mixture and stir until well combined. Knead for 3 minutes.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and form it into a 4-inch-wide cylinder. Slice it into four steaks. Flatten each to a 1-inch thickness.
- In a 12-inch sauté pan with a lid over high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and carefully add the steaks to the pan. When they begin to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, turning the steaks carefully every 2 minutes, for 8 minutes, or until they are well browned. You are setting the shape of the steaks, so take it low and slow to cook the exterior.
- In a cup, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, the remaining 1 tablespoon of the broth powder, and the Kitchen Bouquet. Pour the mixture into the pan with the steaks. Cover and braise for 45 minutes, checking after 25 minutes to see if you need to add more water.
- Transfer the steaks to a plate or storage tub. Continue cooking any remaining liquids until they reduce and thicken. Remove from the heat and reserve the cooking liquid.
- Chill for at least 8 hours.
- Make the sauce: Slice the reserved mushroom caps.
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are very shrunken and browned. Add the thyme, salt, and black pepper and stir. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir until well coated. Cook for 1 minute, and then stir in the wine and stock and raise the heat to high to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat.
- To grill: Brush the steaks with the canola oil. Place the steaks on a very hot, well-greased grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until marked and warmed through (cooking for too long will dry out the steak).
Photo Credit: David Paul Shmidt