A Little Hanger Steak with a Big Thwack of Horseradish

Hangar Steak with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade

Mmmm, Hanger Steak. Mmmm, Hanger Steak with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade. Sometimes I just want to throw meat in the pan and cook it. I think eating meat is good for the soul. I think it’s what God intended for us. However, I also think God never intended us to live so long or populate the planet so thoroughly. So it’s possible that the rules have changed since Adam was banging his fists on the table demanding his hunger be satisfied. Today man has to weigh many complicated issues before he bangs his fists on the table demanding steak. Our health. The impact raising beef has on our environment. It all weighs on my mind. Such is modern life.

So the truth is – despite my beefy bluster – I don’t throw meat in the pan and cook it as often I did when I was, say Adam’s age.

First The Hanger Steak

However, every now and again, I see a gorgeous Hanger Steak in the butcher’s case and the urge to throw it in the pan and cook it overwhelms me. Hanger steak may be available in every bistro in Paris, but where I live it’s not a common cut. So I always take notice when it shows up.

Hangar Steak

Some consider Hanger Steak (also known as Butcher’s Steak and Onglet) to be too chewy to enjoy. But for me “chewy” is not the same thing as “tough”. I think people too easily confuse the two terms sometimes.

Besides, what Hanger Steak lacks in tenderness it more than makes up in taste. Ounce-for-ounce it’s hard to get more beefy flavor from any other part of the cow. It’s also a rather small cut. There is only one Hangar Steak per animal. Which makes it a perfect choice for my “self-regulated” on-again, off-again love affair with beef.

One reason Hanger Steak may not be as popular in North America as it is in Europe is that it needs to be cooked carefully to be most enjoyed. And by “carefully” I mean barely. It’s intended to be a red meat eater’s reddest meat. That delightful chewy quality I mentioned can quickly become plain old shoe leather if allowed to cook much past rare. Which makes it a good candidate for cooking hot and fast on the stove top. However, if you prefer steak closer to medium-rare you can follow the instructions in this recipe below then simply pop the skillet in a very hot oven for a few more minutes.

Whole Cooked Hangar Steak Stack of sweet onion slicesHangar Steak with Horseradish Cream

Don’t Forget The Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Dense with a meaty character, Hanger Steak can stand up to bold flavors. This version is topped with sweet onion marmalade and a pungent, eye-searing, nose-clearing, horseradish sauce. If you are horseradish-shy this sauce may not be the recipe for you. But if it’s cold where you live and you’re craving a hot thwack of flavor I urge you to have a go at making your own. Horseradish loses its pungency quickly. The stuff that comes in a jar, though it will do in a pinch, doesn’t have quite enough punch to stand up to full flavor of Hanger Steak. GREG

Hangar Steak with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade

Hanger Steak with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 3–4Source Inspired by Jeremy LeePublished

Hanger Steak is sometimes found in butcher shops cut into single serving portions. However, it more often comes in one piece weighing between 1 ½ and 2 pounds and will take a bit of trimming from the home cook to remove the inedible sinew that runs through the center.

Hangar Steak with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade


  • 1 ½ to 2 pound hanger steak (at room temperature)
  • canola oil (as needed)
  • freshly cracked black pepper (as needed)
  • flaky sea salt (as needed)
  • horseradish cream (as needed for serving, see recipe)
  • sweet onion marmalde (as needed for serving, see recipe)
  • watercress (for garnish, optional)


If you’re working with a whole hanger steak it will require some preparation before cooking. Start by trimming any obvious sinew from the outside of the hanger steak. Then examine the steak on both sides and locate the thick sinew that runs lengthwise through the meat. Cut the steak in half running your knife along this sinew. Set the first piece aside then cut the sinew from the other half out and discard it. You will notice that you are left with two pieces of meat of different sizes that will cook at different rates. 

Salt and pepper both sides of the meat generously just before cooking.

For this recipe, I’m leaving the pieces as they are and portioning at the table, but you may cut the steaks into three or four similarly sized individual servings if you prefer. You may also choose to butterfly the meat. This will ensure a uniform thickness and a relatively shorter cook time than I’ve indicated below. I like hangar steak thick and rare, use your own best judgment.

Once the meat is prepared heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in a scant film of oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. Once the pan gets very hot (almost smoking) lay the meat gently into the skillet. Let the meat cook undisturbed until it forms a good crust, about 4 to 6 minutes (less if the meat has been butterflied). Flip the meat and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute more for rare. Move the meat to a cutting board to rest for 10 to 12 minutes.

Slice the steak into chunky pieces. Serve with a generous spoonful of horseradish cream and a big dollop of onion marmalade. Drizzle any of the juices left on the cutting board across the meat. Garnish with watercress (if using).

Horseradish Cream

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1 ½ cupsPublished
Hangar Steak with Horseradish Cream


  • 3/4 cup peeled and grated fresh horseradish root
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche


Stir horseradish, sugar, and vinegar together in a medium bowl. Set aside about 10 minutes then stir in crème fraîche and cover until ready to stir.

Sweet Onion Marmalade 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1 ½ cupsPublished

Can be served warm or at room temperature

Sweet Onion Marmalade


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet onions (about 2 lbs, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more as needed for seasoning)
  • ⅓ cup water (plus more as needed)
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, about one hour. You may need to add a splash or two of water if the skillet gets dry.

Once you’re happy with the color and texture add vinegar, thyme, and ¼ cup water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until juices thicken, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.