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.
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.
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