In my opinion, a green peppercorn sauce is in the upper echelon of sauces. However, if you’re looking to limit heavy cream intake or are after a vegan version, you can be left wanting. That’s where this delicious green peppercorn sauce without cream comes to the rescue.
I sought out to make this recipe vegan (unlike my mushroom sauce recipe) so that it can be just as welcome poured over some portobello steaks as it can over a medium-rare ribeye and I think the results are pretty good.
So whether you’re looking to veganise this dish or are simply wanting to limit cream in your diet, this easy peppercorn sauce recipe without cream is sure to check all the boxes!
How to Make a Peppercorn Sauce Without Cream
The first step to this vegan peppercorn sauce without milk or cream is to make our cream substitute. And for this, I make a cashew cream in the blender – and it works shockingly well!
To make this cashew cream, first you need to soak the cashews. Those who are good at planning ahead can soak their raw, unsalted cashews in cold water overnight.
If you forget to do this, however, you can soak the cashews in boiling water for at least an hour and get similar, softened results.
Once your cashews are finished soaking, go ahead and drain them and add them to the jar of a blender. Add a bit of cool water and then blend on high until the cashews are incredibly smooth and creamy – about two to three minutes.
Transfer the cream to a small container and set aside until you need it. Keep in mind that the recipe will call for less of the cashew cream that you make, so you can use it in lots of other applications where cream is called for. It will keep for at least 2 weeks stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Now it’s time to assemble your sauce, which comes together quite quickly. If you’re making a peppercorn sauce for steak without cream, go ahead and assemble the sauce in the same pan you seared your steaks in.
It will cook in the time your steaks are resting. You don’t, however, need to have fond in your pan to make an excellent sauce.
In a large skillet, add some olive oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering.
Then, add in some finely minced shallot and a bit of garlic (along with a very generous pinch of salt) and cook until softened – only about two minutes.
Now, add some brined green peppercorns (can be found online here) that have been drained and rinsed. Then, remove the pan from the heat and pour over some brandy.
It’s an important safety precaution when cooking with relatively high-alcohol-content spirits to ensure there isn’t a direct heat source underneath the pan in order to avoid flare-ups.
Return the pan to the heat and allow the brandy to reduce vigorously for a minute or two – you will notice the alcohol smell cook off in this time.
Next, dust a small amount of flour over the shallot and brandy mixture – this will help thicken the peppercorn sauce so it beautifully coats everything you pour it on.
Then, whisking constantly, slowly pour in some vegetable stock (or beef stock if you’re not concerned about keeping this vegetarian).
Once the stock is incorporated, whisk in a couple of tablespoons of cashew cream. Then, whisk in a bit of miso paste (can be found online here). Especially if you’re making a vegan peppercorn sauce without cream, this will add a meatiness and umami that works beautifully in the finished product. It’s the same reason I use it in dishes like my smoked salmon dip!
Bring everything to a simmer and allow to bubble for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Then, whisk in a bit of sherry vinegar to brighten up the flavours slightly.
Once you’ve reached this stage, serve your sauce immediately. You can drizzle it over a steak or over roasted mushrooms or even some mashed potatoes – the possibilities are endless!
- 100g (3.5oz) raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in boiling water for at least 1 hour or in cool water overnight
- 1-2 small shallots, very finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane or very finely minced
- 100g green peppercorns in brine, drained and rinsed
- 60ml (1/4 cup) brandy or cognac
- 1 teaspoon plain flour
- 250ml (1 cup) low-sodium vegetable stock (see note 1)
- 1 teaspoon white miso paste
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Drain the cashews and add them to the jar of a blender along with 120ml (1/2 cup) cold water. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until very smooth. Transfer the cashew cream to a small bowl and set aside (see note 2).
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the shallot and garlic along with a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened - about 2 minutes.
- Add the peppercorns and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and pour over the brandy. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the alcohol has cooked off and it has significantly reduced.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the cashew cream and the miso paste.
- Allow to simmer until the sauce reduces slightly and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon - only a few minutes. Stir in the vinegar and taste to adjust for seasoning, adding salt where needed. Serve immediately.
1. If you're not concerned about making this recipe vegetarian or vegan, then go ahead and use a high-quality chicken or beef stock in place of the vegetable stock.
2. You won't use the entirety of the cashew cream in this recipe, however, stored in an airtight container it will last in the refrigerator for a week or two. Use it in place of cream in a range of different recipes - including my creamed spinach.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 7gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This green peppercorn sauce recipe without cream is incredibly delicious, super simple to make and works atop a range of different dishes.
Are you looking for a vegan peppercorn sauce recipe? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!