The Vegetable Gordon Ramsay Uses To Make A Vegan 'Steak' Dinner

There are several alarming things about the video Gordon Ramsay posted on Twitter last month. First and foremost, the red meat-loving Brit suggests that, after 30 years in the kitchen, he is making a major lifestyle choice and "turning vegan." He goes on to replace a thick, marbled steak with a vegetable stand-in before showing the audience how to make a vegan "steak" dinner, complete with a gorgeous spice rub, vegan mashed potatoes, and mushrooms in a red wine sauce.

By the end of the video, Ramsay admits that he will only be vegan for this one lunchtime, not for life, but the damage has already been done: The steak dinner that doesn't contain an ounce of steak looks delicious. So while Ramsay might be happy to go back to his carnivorous ways, meat-lovers everywhere will be alarmed at just how steak-like an eggplant can possibly look, and may worry that trying this veggie substitute could turn them into vegans, too.

How to transform eggplants into something meat lovers will adore

As Food & Wine points out, vegans have lots of options when it comes to a non-steak steak. Smoked tofu on the grill will replicate that tasty barbecue flavor nicely, while the density of a butternut squash might imitate the weightiness you're looking for in a good cut of meat. Mushrooms have long been a steak stand-in, with the moist, earthy umami flavor that carnivores crave. Ramsay eschews all these tasty vegetables for the mighty eggplant: A veggie that not only provides the same savory substance as a portobello, but has the added bonus of actually looking like steak by the time the chef is done with it.

In the video, Ramsay starts by charring his eggplant over an open flame, before peeling the vegetable and seasoning it in a spice rub that will no doubt remind viewers of a well-seasoned sirloin — peppercorns, mustard seed, cumin, dill, and rosemary all make the cut, along with the garlic, mushroom, paprika, and onion powders that make any steak worth its salt. By the time Ramsay roasts the eggplant it's hardly recognizable anymore, and when he covers it with a red wine reduction, atop some mashed potatoes and garlicky mushrooms, the transformation is complete. If you're going vegan for one meal only, you might as well make it count.