Gordon Ramsay Transformed This Vegetable Into A Vegan Steak

Last year, Gordon Ramsay announced he was going vegan. Well, not really. It was a marketing trick on TikTok to announce the launch of a series of vegan recipes. His first attempt tried to recreate a steak with an eggplant. Of course, as The Vegan Review notes, Ramsay is nowhere near the first person to make vegan recipes. He is, however, a prominent chef on social media, so it's worth checking out his eggplant steak to see what vegan-curious people will experience.

Gordon Ramsay's recipe uses eggplants, cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, a peppercorn medley, dill seeds, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, mushroom powder, dried rosemary, and optional cayenne. Oh, wait. That was just for the eggplants themselves. For the basting jus, he has red wine, beet juice, fresh rosemary, vegan bouillon, vegan butter, soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and liquid aminos. Then, there's the mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and vegetable malange demi glace. It's a lot.

Sticking with the "steak," you prepare the steak rub while the eggplants char. Once the eggplants have cooled, peel their skin off and cover them with the steak rub and salt. Roast the eggplants in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After thirty minutes, reduce the heat to 300 degrees and drizzle the jus on it. Repeat this every fifteen to twenty minutes until the steak is tender. For even better results, you can age the steak overnight in the refrigerator like you would with a meat one.

Ramsay overcomplicated the 'steak'

The obvious question is whether this recipe works. After all, as The Mirror reported, Gordon Ramsay has had a long history of insulting non-meat eaters that has involved tricking them into eating food with meat ingredients.

The answer is mostly yes. The Kitchn recreated Ramsay's eggplant steak and found it delicious. However, it came with a serious caveat: it asks a lot of the home cook. This is a problem, they argued, because Ramsay is such a spokesperson that it might convince people that vegan food is only possible with extremely long ingredient lists and hours spent in preparation. If you do want to go for this recipe, they advise using smaller eggplants as it concentrates the flavor, refraining from attempting the entire recipe, and purchasing pre-ground spices.

If you want an easier eggplant steak, The San Diego Union-Tribune offers a recipe that resembles a chicken parmesan. While not vegan, it highlights that eggplants don't need such complicated recipes to make it resemble meat. This is because, as MyECOPlanet explains, eggplants have a similar texture and an earthy taste.

In fact, a separate article by The Kitchn offers eight ways to recreate meat dishes with eggplants, including steak. Others are bacon, sloppy joes, and bolognese. There's probably an entire cookbook's worth of recipes that use eggplant as a meat substitute. If Ramsay's recipe overwhelms, you can look elsewhere.