Even as an omnivore I never had any real love for eating beef. Hamburgers and meatballs were almost always dense and dry, and I could never find a happy medium between over- and undercooked steaks. The one exception would have to be steak au poivre; I am an absolute fiend when it comes to peppercorns. Freshly cracked pepper is like catnip to me, so it makes sense that meat became a whole lot more enticing when completely coated in the stuff. I've tried to recreate the effect with proteins like tofu or tempeh, but it just doesn't quite work out properly. So when I finally (FINALLY!) checked out the delights at The Herbivorous Butcher, I made sure to order their porterhouse so I could try to recreate the only fond memory I have of eating beef.
It turned out to be a match made in heaven! Their thick, tender seitan steak provides texture and flavour that perfectly pairs with the buttery, peppery crunch of this recipe. Do yourself a favor and make this heavenly dish the next time you're craving some classed-up comfort food, you will NOT regret it.
Steak Au Poivre
makes 2 steaks
2 seitan steaks
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp onion, minced
1 tbsp shallot, minced
1/2 cup brandy
3/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp "butter"
Preheat oven to 250 F. Heat almond milk and butter until melted together, then set aside.
Using a mortar and pestle (or, in a pinch, the back of a sauté pan), coarsely crack the peppercorns. Mix the pepper with salt, and coat each side of both steaks. Lightly coat a pan with olive oil and, over medium high heat, cook steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side. Wrap loosely, but completely, in foil and transfer to oven to keep warm.
Add more olive oil to pan (about 1/2-1 tbsp, reduce heat to medium, and add onion and shallot. Cook, stirring often, until shallot and onion start to brown. Add brandy and cook until liquid is almost completely reduced, 2 -3 minutes. Add almond milk and butter mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 4-5 minutes.
Pour sauce over steaks, serve, and experience silky, peppery heaven!