What is Hanger Steak
One of the best things about having a butcher close by who knows a thing or two about meat is that we are often inspired to try cuts that would otherwise be unfamiliar to us.
Hanger steak is one of those cuts. Also known as a “butcher’s steak”, the hanger steak “hangs” down from a steer’s diaphragm, attached to the last rib and spine near the kidneys (according to the Wikipedia).
How to Cook Hanger Steak
Hanger steak is highly flavorful but isn’t perfectly tender, so it responds well to quick cooking with searing heat.
Simply heat a skillet with oil over high heat, sear the steaks on all sides, and cook until done to your preference.
Hanger steak is best served thin, sliced against the grain. This version calls for a delicious shallot sauce drizzled on top.
This recipe we picked up from our local butcher at Corti Brothers who in turn got it from Chef Daniel Boulud. According to chef Boulud, French bistros traditionally serve this hanger steak along with pommes frites (French fries).
We passed on the fries and went with broccoli and boiled potatoes. Outstanding! And very easy to make.
Hanger Steak with Shallots Recipe
If hanger steak isn't available where you are, you might want to try this recipe with a flank or skirt steak.
Hanger steak is sold either whole, looking somewhat like a "V", or trimmed of the center gristle, in which case they resemble a tenderloin. If you get a whole piece, make sure to cut away and discard the center main gristle that connects the 2 tenderloin-ish pieces.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 4 hanger steaks, 6-8 ounces each (trimmed of main gristle running through center)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 Sear the steaks on all sides: Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season them with salt and pepper.
When the pan is hot, place the steaks into the pan, and brown them on all sides. (Do not move the steak pieces until they have browned on one side, if you move them, they won't brown easily.)
2 Cook until done to your preference, remove from pan: Continue to turn them until they are cooked to your preference, 6 minutes total for medium-rare (the steaks will continue to cook as they rest), a few minutes longer for more well done.
Transfer the steaks to a warm dish and cover them with foil and let them rest while you prepare the sauce.
3 Make the sauce: Reduce the heat to medium, add a tablespoon of butter and the shallots. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently until the shallots are softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the vinegar and cook until it boils away, then add the wine.
Bring the wine to a boil and let reduce to about half. Remove pan from heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the chopped parsley.
4 Slice steaks across the grain to serve: To serve, cut each steak across the grain into thin slices. Fan the slices out on a warm dinner plate. Drizzle the warm shallot sauce over the meat and serve immediately.
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