Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Naked Hanger Steak

Hanger steak, black and blue.
The hanging tender. The butcher's steak. The Onglet.

Today it is commonly known as "the hanger steak" and can be bought at most specialty butchers - for modest prices ($9-14/lbs) next to dry aged côte du boeuf ($18-45/lbs and up depending on age) or even un-aged ribeye ($12-18/lbs).

Of course the hanger has not always been a popular cut of meat - moreover it was popular with butchers who would take the easily spoiled cut home with them.

Of course this is all remedial for long-time Chowbacca! readers as I have waxed lovingly about the cut on several occasions already.

This time, we did as little as possible to the steak prior to cooking. The results were, as expected, stunning.

Naked Hager Steak:
  • Both hanger steaks from a single carcass (the muscle is bifurcated by a large tendon that connects to the animal's diaphragm).
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Beer or wine (part of one can or bottle - you know what to do with the rest).
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Butter (optional).
  • Olive oil.
That's it.

Take your steaks from the chill chest and let them come to room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking.

Pat dry and salt and pepper generously on all sides about 10 minutes before cooking. This will draw out myoglobin which will help form a nice brown crust.

If you do not have a large enough skillet then halve each steak.

Cook with olive oil, one steak (or both halves) at a time on a very hot skillet (preferably cast iron) for a few minutes per side (I usually consider the hanger steak to have three sides: a medial edge adjacent to the tendon, and and upper and lower edge).

Set aside onto a plate to collect any juices that may run off.

Here's a handy video that will help you cook your steak to the right doneness:



Lower heat, deglaze your pan with beer or wine (about half a cup) and add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

Reduce this by half then remove from heat. Mount with a tablespoon of butter if you choose. Pour over steaks.

I promise you this is the easiest, cheapest, quickest way to get restaurant quality steak.

Of course pomme frites would be a natural pairing, but why not sweet potato fries? Fried plantains? Avocado fries? How about a big pile of grilled broccoli rabe?

Zing pow, dinner done in 20 minutes!

Don't thank me, thank Riki, Jill Vedaa and Chef Karen Small for hipping me to this awesome cut of beef.