If you’ve ever had a cauliflower steak before, then you know it’s nothing like the real thing. I certainly wouldn’t serve them to an avid meat eater and call them that, unless I was looking to be criticized, of course. However, if you’re able to see beyond the original application of the name, you’ll find a satisfying plant-based meal that you can feel a lot better about eating than it’s red meat counterpart.
In this context the term “steak” simply refers to how the cauliflower is cut. Rather than chopping off the florets, we’re slicing the head through the stem so that you have several thick pieces. This method can be kind of tricky to achieve at first, but I’ve found that the larger the head of cauliflower is, the better. No matter what size you use, you are likely to have a few floret stragglers here and there, but that’s okay! Just throw them on the pan and roast them right along with the steaks. They’ll still taste delicious smothered in mushroom gravy.
What makes the vegan mushroom gravy stand apart from others is the flavor it gets from the dried porcini mushrooms. Soaking them in hot water allows them to rehydrate and release their rich umami taste. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to use for vegan dishes (like this Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon) because it adds so much complexity. If you can’t find dried porcini mushrooms, any dried variety will work.
Other than that, the ingredients for the gravy are pretty straightforward. I like to blend it at the end for smoothness while reserving some of the fresh mushrooms, so that it still has a little bit of texture.
These steaks pair well with mashed potatoes, green beans or a side salad. Whether you serve them for a special occasion or a weekly dinner, they’re sure to be a hit!
For the mushroom gravy:
For the cauliflower steaks:
Recipe makes approximately 4 cups of gravy, which will likely be more than you need. Feel free to save some for mashed potatoes or freeze it for later.
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