Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steaks

lions mane mushroom steak

When we gave up meat, we didn’t want to give up any flavor. And we didn’t want to abandon the whole process of searing steaks in a hot pan. It’s fun! This technique of pressing and searing mushrooms gives you the same satisfaction as a cook and as a food lover. Lion’s manes are the meatiest tasting mushrooms we have ever eaten. Plus, they are a bona fide brain food. Studies show that lion’s manes can improve mental health, including boosting your memory and concentration and reducing the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. That and the satisfying taste make lion’s mane mushrooms a regular in our meals.

Ingredients

  • 3 big lion’s mane mushrooms (about 1 lb/450 g total)
  • 2 Tbsp veg oil (see Notes)
  • 2 Tbsp BBQ seasoning (your fave)
  • 1 Tbsp Wicked Kitchen Sage & Onion seasoning (see Notes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp plant-based butter
  • 4 Tbsp BBQ sauce (Wicked Kitchen or your favorite)
  • Fresh herb for garnish

Notes:

  • Lion’s mane mushrooms vary in water content. If yours are really heavy (full of water), let them cook a bit longer to press out that water and concentrate the texture and flavor.
  • For searing oil, I like to use a combo of 3 parts rapeseed (canola) oil and 1 part olive oil. That blend handles high heat well and has a bit more flavor than plain rapeseed (canola).
  • You can replace the 1 Tbsp Wicked Kitchen Sage, Onion & Garlic Seasoning with 1 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC with convection or 420ºF if you have no convection.
  2. Trim the bottom of the mushrooms just enough so each one sits flat.
  3. Heat a big, heavy ovenproof skillet like cast iron over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in enough oil to coat the bottom. Add the mushrooms stem-sides down and let them cook a minute or two to soften up. Then add a second heavy skillet on top of the mushrooms and let cook another minute or so.
  4. Now, fold up a kitchen towel or use tongs to gently press the center of the top pan to begin pressing the mushrooms. The shrooms will begin to release water. As they do, apply firmer and firmer pressure to press them down. To help the mushrooms sear and brown, wipe off any water accumulated on the top pan. It also helps the browning (and flavor) to swirl in a little more oil as the mushrooms cook. Pressing and browning the first side will take 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Flip the shrooms with tongs or a spatula and add a little more oil, shaking the pan to get the shrooms coated. Press firmly until the shrooms are seared, browned, and pressed to less than half their original thickness, another 5 minutes or so.
  6. Mix together the BBQ seasoning and Sage & Onion seasoning. Sprinkle some over the top side of the mushrooms along with some salt and pepper. Flip and let cook a minute or two, adding a little more oil to help the browning and flavor. Then season the top side and flip again to cook that seasoned side, continuing to press and sear until both sides are slightly charred and crispy. You can adjust the thickness of the finished steak with the amount of pressure you apply. Here, I’m going for something like a cutlet—maybe 3/4 inch/2 cm thick.
  7. When nice and seared, pop the mushroom pan in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Then remove the steaks to a cutting board and put the pan over medium heat. Add the butter, stirring and scraping to get all that flavor up off the pan bottom. Stir in the BBQ sauce, too, until you have a nice medium-thick pan sauce.
  9. Spoon some of the pan sauce onto your plates.
  10. Slices the steaks nice and thin and fan out the slices over the sauce. Garnish with some fresh thyme or parsley if you have it. Enjoy a steak knife!

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