Lion’s Mane Steak Au Poivre Dinner

lions mane steak
Everyone needs a couple showstopper main dishes in their recipe quiver. This one hits the bullseye for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or any special occasion. Mushroom steaks are just so juicy and satisfying! With velvety bourbon butter sauce and chunky pan-roasted potatoes on the side, this dish a sure-fire hit. Add any roasted or sauteed vegetable to complete the meal. To get a jump on things, start the steak and potatoes the night before or the morning of the day you want to serve this bad boy. Then it all comes together in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for impressive your special guests—even on a weeknight!


  • 2 large red-skinned potatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus some for pan-searing
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 huge or several smaller lion’s mane mushrooms, about 2 pounds
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup vegan butter


  1. For the potatoes: Cut each potato lengthwise into wedges, about 8-10 for each potato. Transfer the wedges to a saucepot of cold water (cover the spuds with water by about 1 inch/2.5 cm). Put on the lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and boil gently until just tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. This part can be done a day ahead or in the morning before the night you want to serve. Just chill the drained spuds in a covered container in the fridge.
  2. For the steak: Meanwhile, make the garlic oil. Pour the oil into a small saucepot, then slice the garlic and add it to the oil along with 2-3 thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer gently to marry the flavors for 10-15 minutes while you make the steak. Then turn off the heat and let the oil sit.
  3. Grab that big ol’ lion’s mane and trim any tough stems from the bottom, but keep the mushroom whole.
  4. Press and sear the whole lion’s mane in a large heavy pan such as cast-iron. Like so: heat the pan over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to film the pan bottom. Add the mushroom(s) stem-side down and cook until nicely browned on the bottom, 4-5 minutes, pressing the mushroom down gently with another heavy pan placed over top. The top pan will get hot, so use tongs or a folded towel to press gently. When the bottom is browned, flip and cook until the other side is nicely browned, another 4-5 minutes. At this point, you can begin pressing the mushroom a bit harder to compact it into a steak. Add oil to the pan if the pan bottom looks dry, moving the mushroom around to make contact with the oil as you press and sear. When both sides are nicely browned, season both sides lightly with salt. Continue pressing and searing until the entire steak is deeply browned, slightly crisp on the edges, and compacted to 1/2 to 1” (1.25-2.5 cm) thick, 3-4 minutes more.
  5. Remove to a plate or shallow baking dish and spoon the garlic oil over the top, with the thyme sprig too. Cover and let marinate 8-10 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  6. When you’re almost ready to serve, brown those potatoes. Heat a big heavy pan (yes, we love the cast-iron) over medium-high heat and swirl in some oil. Nestle the potatoes in the pan cut-sides down, then season with salt and some thyme. Cook until they’re nicely browned on both sides, 4-5 minutes per side.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sauce: finely dice the onion and saute it in olive oil in a big heavy pan. Add a big thyme sprig too, and cook and toss until the onion is just starting to get golden on the edges, 3-4 minutes.
  8. Pour in the bourbon to deglaze the pan, scraping up the flavorful bits from the pan bottom with a spatula. Let it simmer a couple minutes until the liquid reduces in volume a bit. Add 1 cup vegetable stock and simmer again for 5 minutes or so.
  9. Add the butter and cut the heat to low. Shake or stir until all the butter is incorporated into the sauce and it gets a nice velvety texture. Taste it and season with salt and pepper until tastes good to you. Set aside and keep warm.
  10. Now, to finish the steak: Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until wicked hot. Turn on the hood for this part. Generously sprinkle cracked black pepper over both sides of the steak. Season it with a little salt too. Sear the steak in the pan until deeply browned on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Add the remaining 1/4 cup butter toward the end of the cooking and baste the steak with the melted butter. Watch the heat here, you want to brown the steak without burning the butter or the peppercorns.
  11. Remove to a cutting board and slice the steak crosswise on a slight angle to make nice, wide slices.
  12. Plate the slices with a few potato pieces for each serving. Spoon the sauce over the steak and garnish with fresh thyme. Serve it up hot.

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