Cauliflower Steak Au Poivre

By February 8, 2016Food, Main Dishes, Recipes

One of my favorite dishes that I learned at Rouxbe was their Cauliflower Steak Au Poivre – baked and seared cauliflower served with a hearty mushroom peppercorn gravy – a plant-based spin on the traditional French steak au poivre or “pepper steak”. Not only is the presentation quite impressive, it’s got this creamy umami from the mushrooms and a wonderful punch from the peppercorns. I just think it’s so perfect for a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner in. (And frankly, with the price of cauliflower right now, it really IS fancy!).
cauliflower_final2There isn’t much I’ve changed from the original recipe. I’ve switched out the brandy for whiskey. And added fresh rosemary along with the original bay leaves. The real secret to this recipe is the stock – use a quality stock (homemade or otherwise) to really build the flavor of this dish! Cauliflower Steak au Poivre | SPIRITPLATE I love the tenderness of the cauliflower with the caramelized crisp edges and the spicy crunch of the course pepper. Cauliflower Steak au Poivre | SPIRITPLATEThis gravy is one of my favorite go-tos. I even serve it for Thanksgiving. You can serve this Cauliflower Steak with butternut squash soup and massaged kale salad, or a side of fresh green beans. Happy Valentine’s Day!Cauliflower Steak au Poivre | SPIRITPLATE

Cauliflower Steak Au Poivre with Mushroom Gravy
Serves 4
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
218 calories
20 g
6 g
6 g
6 g
2 g
563 g
1328 g
8 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218
Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 1328mg
Total Carbohydrates 20g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cauliflower
  1. 1 head cauliflower, leaves and stem trimmed*
  2. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  3. 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  4. 1 cup vermouth or dry white wine
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. 1 sprig rosemary
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt**
  8. 2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  9. 1 tsp oil
  10. 1 tsp non­dairy butter
For the sauce
  1. 1/2 tbsp oil
  2. 1/2 tbsp non­dairy butter
  3. 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  4. 3/4 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
  5. 1/4 cup good scotch or whiskey
  6. 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  7. sea salt, to taste
  8. 2 tbsp slurry, or as needed***
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With the cauliflower sitting on its stem, cut in half through the middle. Trim the outer edge of each half to form a thick steak­-like piece of cauliflower. Each piece should be approximately 1 1/2-inch thick.
  2. In a 9x11 baking dish, mix together the garlic, stock, vermouth, bay leaves, rosemary and salt.
  3. Place the cauliflower into the liquid and cover tightly with foil. Carefully transfer to the oven and let bake for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Test the 'steaks' periodically. When a knife goes in somewhat easily the cauliflower is done. (The cauliflower should be cooked through, but still a bit firm. If it's too soft, it will fall apart during frying.)
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce: Heat a large stainless steel fry pan over medium­-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and butter, followed by the shallots. Let the shallots cook until they just start to brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook the mushrooms until they start to release their juices and start to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Carefully deglaze with the whiskey and let cook for a minute or so, or until most of the scotch has evaporated.
  6. Add the stock, turn down the heat and let simmer while you pan­-fry the cauliflower 'steaks'.
  7. Once the cauliflower is ready, remove the 'steaks' from the liquid and place onto a plate lined
  8. with paper towel. Blot the top of the cauliflower with paper towel as well. This helps ensure you get a nice golden crust.
  9. Next, crush the peppercorns on a cutting board—a heavy fry pan works well for this. Then, carefully place the cauliflower into the crushed peppercorns and gently press to ensure some of the peppercorns stick to the cauliflower. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  10. Heat a large a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and butter, followed by the cauliflower. Let the cauliflower cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown on each side. Try not to fiddle with the pieces too much, otherwise the 'steaks' will start to fall apart. Once done, set aside while you finish the sauce.
  11. To finish the sauce, taste for seasoning, adding salt as needed. Next, add the slurry. For the slurry, either cornstarch or flour can be used. Slowly add the slurry until you reach a nice sauce­-like consistency.
  12. To serve, place a 'steak' onto a plate and spoon over the hot sauce—drizzling a bit of the sauce around the plate if desired. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
  1. * - Do NOT core the cauliflower. The stem is needed to keep the 'steaks' intact.
  2. ** - The amount of salt you add will depend on how salty your stock is to begin with. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  3. *** - A slurry is a spoonful of flour or cornstarch mixed with water or stock to create a runny paste. This runny paste is added to a sauce to thicken it. Directly adding flour or cornstarch to a large pot results in clumping, thus a slurry is used instead.

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