Protein-rich tempeh is gently braised to infuse it with delicious flavor. It is then pan-fried and served with a stellar peppercorn Madeira sauce.
To start, slice the garlic and thinly slice about 8 pieces of ginger.
In a large pot, combine the tamari, garlic, ginger, salt and water and bring to a simmer.
To prepare the tempeh, cut each piece of tempeh into about 10 thin slices, diagonally. Add the tempeh to the pot and continue to gently simmer for at least 45 minutes.
Once the tempeh is ready, drain onto a tray lined with a cooling rack—or something that will allow the tempeh to dry as it cools.
Place the flour, nutritional yeast, onion granules, and rosemary into a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Next, dredge the pieces of tempeh in the flour mixture, making sure the pieces are completely coated. If you need more moisture on the tempeh dip them in the braising liquid before dredging.
To fry the tempeh, heat a large fry pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the tempeh. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on the first side, or until nice and golden. Then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
The tempeh will also keep well in a warm oven while you make the sauce.
Using the same fry pan, add the olive oil and sauté the shallots over medium-low heat for 2 or 3 minutes, or until translucent and starting to brown.
Next, add the wine, thyme, and bay leaves. Let simmer until reduced by half. *Note: Marsala wine also works well in this dish.
Once reduced, add the broth and the crushed peppercorns. Let the sauce cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, go ahead and mix together the arrowroot and water.
***Note: You may need to use a bit more arrowroot or cornstarch to thicken the sauce; it really depends on how much your sauce has reduced and the final consistency you are looking for.
After 12-15 minutes, whisk in the arrowroot and water mixture. Once you have reached the desired consistency, let simmer for a minute or so to cook out any arrowroot or cornstarch flavor. At this point, turn off the heat, and if using, whisk in the vegan “butter.” Lastly, taste for seasoning.
To serve the dish pour this aromatic sauce over the tempeh once plated.
This dish goes particularly well with mashed potatoes and a big helping of leafy greens. Enjoy!
This recipe was inspired by Chef Tal Ronnen from Crossroads Restaurant. There is also a similar recipe featured in Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr and Chad Sarno.