Mushroom "Skirt Steak" with Chimichurri Sauce and Pommes Frites
Ah, skirt steak; strange as this may sound, I loved skirt steak. It was a fairly inexpensive cut of meat and I loved it for how lean it was along with how easily it would absorb marinades. One of my favorite ways to eat skirt steak was with chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri sauce is a vibrant mix of citrus and herbs and elevates any boring dinner to spectacular!
Since "going vegan," I've wanted to try a recipe for chimichurri but don't really want to rely on seitan as my option. Finally, I decided to just go for it with very large portabella mushrooms. They have the juice and the meaty texture that is perfect for this recipe along with the color and the ease of grilling. Paired with air fried pommes frites (french fries), you have a great dinner that looks fussy but is one of the easiest recipes to prepare.
Sustainability Spotlight: Being sustainable is all about making choices that are better for the planet (and for you)! I am a firm proponent that sustainability or going vegan (which supports sustainability) should be viewed as giving anything up! You are not forgoing flavors, or textures. You are not forgoing old recipes or ways of cooking. You are simply modifying them and making better choices as a result.
As in this recipe, I'm using the grill, a traditional preparation for steak, and an overall visual appeal that mimics carnivorous meals. Because I'm cognizant that I can make choices that are better while still enjoying my favorite recipes with the modifications, I am living my best version of veganism and sustainability. With this mindset, I never feel bereft, and while I'm still searching for some of my favorite flavor combinations, I'm not afraid to try and fail.
Whenever you pursue change, there is a higher rate of failure. Perhaps it's my science background, or maybe it's just my disposition from the "try hard" mentality of my youth, but either way (or a combination thereof), I expect that there will be failures. Some, as I've said, are simply epic. Others, I just need to make small changes. In all ways, I take an opportunity to learn, adapt, and evolve. This recipe combination is an evolution borne from a "try" that all starts with a "Don't be afraid to succeed." I encourage you to approach your sustainability / vegan journey with this mindset and do not ever be afraid that you might succeed in your change or the change of the world.
Mushroom "Skirt Steak" Marinade:
10-12 garlic cloves (minced)
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 small orange (juiced)
3 tbsp avocado oil
1 handful chopped cilantro
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp vegetable stock
2 limes (juiced)
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
3-4 extra large portabella mushrooms
1 handful parsley
1 handful mint
1 handful basil
1.5 tbsp olive oil
pinch of chili flakes (smoked - if available)
dash of white pepper
dash of black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 lemon (juiced)
3 russet potatoes cut into strips and patted dry with a clean kitchen towel
avocado oil (~1-2 tsp)
pinch of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
Place all ingredients of the Mushroom "Skirt Steak" Marinade in a personal blender and blitz until smooth. Put all mushrooms into a flat container and pour marinade over the mushrooms; flip to coat well. Cover the container and marinate mushrooms up to 12 hours (minimum 30 minutes at room temperature - flavor strength directly related to marinade time).
Pre-heat air fry (as available - if no air fry, preheat oven on convection if you have it) at 475 degrees F. Place in a large bowl and toss all ingredients listed under Pommes Frites. Spread potatoes in an even layer in a large air fry basket (or on a cooling rack set inside a lipped sheet pan if using the oven). Air fry until crisp and golden ~25-28 minutes (stirring once); oven will take ~40-45 minutes (and stir more frequently).
While your potatoes are cooking, start grill and remove mushrooms from marinade. Grill 7-8 minutes each side on the grill at ~500 degrees F until the mushrooms start to become juicy and lines begin to appear.
While your mushrooms are cooking, add all ingredients in the Chimichurri Sauce above to a large food processor and process (pulsed ~20-25 times) till mostly incorporated but still has texture.
Once your mushrooms are off the grill, allow to cool slightly and slice on the bias (in strips).
Serve mushrooms in a "strip steak" pattern spooning chimichurri sauce over top with a side of pommes frites.
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie