Prepare Eggplant “Steaks” - char each eggplant over an open-flame on your gas stove (alternatively you can broil, turning frequently). Using tongs, rotate eggplant until charred on all sides and just tender. Place in a baking dish big enough for both eggplants, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, prepare steak rub - in a large saute pan toast cumin seed, mustard seed, peppercorn medley, and dill seed over medium-low heat until fragrant. Place in a spice grinder (alternatively pound in a mortar and pestle). Mix together with remaining spices, rub will keep for a few months stored in an airtight container.
Once eggplants are cool, peel away skins and discard. Season liberally on all sides with steak rub and salt. Drizzle with olive oil and pour enough wine to over eggplant to light cover bottom of the baking dish. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, turning once, carefully with a fish spatula or tongs. Reason and roast for another 30 minutes.
Prepare basting jus - in a wide-bottom saucepan bring remaining wine, beet juice, and rosemary to a rapid boil. Simmer over medium-high heat until mixture reduces to a ½ cup. Whisk in bouillon and vegan butter and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, stirring in soy sauce, worcestershire, and seasoning with liquid aminos to taste.
Reduce heat to 300˚F and drizzle eggplant with ⅓ cup of jus and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning once. Continue to roast eggplant, basting periodically with jus until tender, slightly dehydrated and eggplant begins to resemble a steak*
Prepare Steakhouse Mushrooms - heat a skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into pan and sear trumpet mushrooms (cut-side down) until golden, season with salt and remove from pan. Add shiitakes along with another tablespoon of olive oil, cook until caramelized, slightly tender, and most of the water has evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.
Add remaining mushrooms, half the butter, shallots, garlic, season with salt and lots of black pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender and caramelized, sprinkle with thyme. Deglaze pan with wine, pour in stock and simmer until reduced by half. Swirl in remaining butter and season with salt, pepper, and worcestershire. Keep warm.
Creamy Garlic Mash: Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cool water, bring to a boil and season generously with salt. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Meanwhile in a small pot, prepare garlic cream. Melt butter and cream with garlic cloves, simmer on low for 3-5 minutes. Strain through fine sieve, pressing garlic to ensure maximum flavor. Press potatoes through a ricer or mash with a hand mashed until smooth, return to pot. Fold in cream and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives.
Charred Vegetable Melange Demi Glace: Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat for 1-2 minutes. Toss mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, celery and garlic with enough oil to coat lightly. Scatter on preheated baking sheet and roast for 45-50 minutes until caramelized and tender, turning occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot over high-heat. Drizzle a touch of oil at the bottom and place tomatoes cut side down in pot. Sear tomatoes and cook until caramelized and begin to wilt, you should have a nice char on the bottom of the pot, about 5-7 minutes.
Add onions to pot and using a wooden spoon scrape up cooked bits to incorporate. Cook for another 10-20 minutes until onions are tender and golden brown. Add tomato paste to pan and toast for a minute or two. Deglaze with ½ cup red wine and cook until nearly gone.
Scrape roasted vegetables into pot and pour in remaining red wine, kombu, bay leaf, peppercorns, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and reduce wine by half. Stream in stock and simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until veggies are almost falling apart and broth is flavorful, adding water if stock gets too thick. Strain stock, discarding solids and reduce until resembles a thick sauce. Season with liquid aminos, salt and pepper.
Serve steaks atop a heaping spoonful of creamy mashed potatoes, spooning glazed mushrooms around steak and a hefty drizzle of charred vegetable demi glace.
Dry aging steaks enhances flavor and tenderness - the same is true for my vegan steak. Age overnight in the refrigerator with a sprinkling of rub and a drizzling of jus for an even more flavorful dish.
Kombu is a great substitute for vegan or vegetarian sauces, offering a depth of flavor and umami without the addition of meat or bones in a traditional stock.