Hanger steak is a cut of beef that has garnered an enormous amount of culinary attention in recent years. Often referred to as the “butcher’s secret,” this piece of meat is praised for its flavor and tenderness. Let’s embark on an exploratory journey to discover what makes this particular cut stand out.
The Unique Qualities of Hanger Steak
Often overshadowed by more popular cuts like rib-eye or sirloin, hanger steak offers a unique blend of qualities that beef connoisseurs have come to appreciate. Its texture is incredibly tender, almost likened to that of more expensive cuts like filet mignon. Yet, it possesses a robust, beefy flavor, more pronounced than many pricier counterparts.
Despite its distinctive attributes, hanger steak has often been undervalued in the past, primarily used for ground beef or sausages. Only recently has it gained recognition as a steak that can stand on its own, delivering a gratifying balance of flavor and tenderness.
Origin and History of Hanger Steak
The hanger steak has a rich history that significantly contributes to its mystique. Its roots can be traced back to France, where it’s known as “onglet.” French chefs have long cherished this cut for its flavor and have traditionally served it rare to medium-rare to prevent it from becoming too tough.
In the United States, hanger steak was often kept by butchers for personal consumption, hence the moniker “butcher’s steak.” This practice stemmed from its scarcity, as only about a pound of this steak can be sourced from each cow. Therefore, it was considered a sort of insider’s secret among butchers.
However, the secret couldn’t be kept forever. As food culture evolved and consumers began to explore lesser-known cuts, the hanger steak started to gain popularity. Today, you can find hanger steak in high-end steak houses and casual dining establishments alike, featured in everything from sophisticated French recipes to simple, down-to-earth dishes. Its history of being a butcher’s kept secret has only added to its allure, marking it as a cut that offers a unique eating experience, steeped in tradition and full of flavor.
Identifying Quality Hanger Steak
When shopping for hanger steak, it’s essential to know what to look for to ensure you’re buying a high-quality cut. First, observe the color of the meat. It should be a vibrant, rich red, indicating that it’s fresh. If it’s grey or brown, it might be old or improperly stored.
Next, inspect the texture. The meat should be firm to the touch, not soft or slimy. Softness could indicate that the meat is past its prime. Also, look for a uniform texture throughout the cut. Any discoloration, spotting, or inconsistencies might suggest poor handling or storage.
The marbling of the steak, which refers to the distribution of fat within the meat, is another crucial aspect to consider. A quality hanger steak should have thin streaks of fat running throughout the meat. This fat is what gives the steak its flavor and tenderness when cooked.
Moreover, consider the source of your meat. Hanger steak from grass-fed, organic, or free-range beef is often of superior quality. These animals are typically raised in better conditions and produce healthier and more flavorful meat.
Why Hanger Steak is a Chef’s Favorite
Hanger steak is a favorite among chefs for several reasons. Firstly, its intense flavor sets it apart from other cuts. It has a deep, beefy taste, which is further enhanced when cooked over high heat, making it a prime choice for grilling or pan-searing.
Its texture is another point in its favor. Although it’s not as tender as cuts like the tenderloin, it’s not as tough as others like the chuck or round. This balance makes it versatile, suitable for a range of cooking methods.
Another appealing quality of the hanger steak is its marbling. When cooked, the fat renders down, basting the steak from within and leading to a moist, juicy result that is packed with flavor.
Finally, chefs appreciate hanger steak because it offers excellent value. While it delivers on taste and texture, it’s generally more affordable than high-end cuts like rib-eye or sirloin, making it a cost-effective choice for dishes that call for high-quality beef.
In essence, the hanger steak strikes an attractive balance of taste, texture, versatility, and value, explaining why it’s a favored choice in both professional and home kitchens.
Choosing the Right Beef for Hanger Steak
One of the first things to consider is the breed of the cattle. Different breeds can produce beef with varied characteristics. For example, Black Angus cattle are often prized for their consistent marbling and flavor, while Wagyu and Kobe beef are renowned for their extraordinary marbling and richness.
The diet and lifestyle of the cattle also play a significant role. For instance, grass-fed beef is typically leaner and has a distinct, earthy flavor compared to grain-fed beef. It also tends to be higher in beneficial nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E. On the other hand, grain-fed beef often has more marbling, leading to a richer flavor and juicier texture.
Additionally, organic and free-range beef are other options to consider. Organic beef comes from cattle that are not given any hormones or antibiotics and are raised on organic feed. Free-range cattle, on the other hand, are allowed to roam freely, resulting in more muscular development and a more pronounced beef flavor.
The source of your beef is another critical consideration. Always aim to buy from reputable butchers or brands that are transparent about their practices and provide high-quality, ethically raised meat. This not only benefits your health but also supports sustainable farming practices.
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Beef for Hanger Steak
The debate between grass-fed and grain-fed beef is ongoing, with each type offering its own unique benefits and flavor profiles.
Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that have been raised on a diet of grass and other forage. This results in beef with a leaner profile, less marbling, and a distinctly earthy or “gamey” flavor that many people find appealing. It’s also often higher in certain nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A and E, and antioxidants.
On the other hand, grain-fed beef comes from cattle that have been fed a diet primarily consisting of grains, such as corn or soy. This diet encourages greater fat development, resulting in a higher degree of marbling in the beef. The result is a rich, buttery flavor and a tender, juicy texture that many associate with a high-quality steak.
When it comes to hanger steak, the choice between grass-fed and grain-fed can influence the final taste and texture of your dish. Grass-fed hanger steak will generally be leaner and have a more robust flavor, while grain-fed hanger steak will be richer, juicier, and more marbled.
In the end, the choice between grass-fed and grain-fed beef for your hanger steak comes down to personal preference, dietary needs, and budget. Both types can produce delicious results if cooked and seasoned properly.
The Impact of Aging on Hanger Steak Quality
Aging is an integral part of preparing high-quality beef, including hanger steak. It is a process that breaks down the tough connective tissues in the meat, resulting in enhanced flavor and tenderness.
There are two main methods of aging beef: dry aging and wet aging. Dry aging involves storing the beef in a carefully controlled environment with specific temperature and humidity levels. This process can last for several weeks, during which moisture evaporates from the meat, and its natural enzymes break down the fibrous tissues. The result is a concentrated beef flavor and a tender texture. However, this process requires specialized equipment and a significant amount of time, making it more costly than other methods.
Wet aging, on the other hand, involves vacuum-sealing the beef and refrigerating it for a shorter period, typically a few weeks. This method allows the beef’s natural enzymes to tenderize the meat, without any moisture loss. Wet-aged beef tends to have a milder flavor compared to dry-aged beef, but it is more affordable and widely available.
When it comes to hanger steak, both aging methods can enhance the meat’s flavor and tenderness. Your choice between dry-aged and wet-aged hanger steak will depend on your flavor preference, budget, and availability. Regardless of the method, properly aged hanger steak will provide a superior culinary experience, elevating the taste and texture of your dish.
Nutritional Profile of Hanger Steak
Hanger steak, like other types of beef, is an excellent source of protein, supplying all the essential amino acids your body needs for muscle growth and repair. A single serving can provide a substantial portion of your daily protein requirements.
Additionally, hanger steak is rich in various vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of iron, a mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout your body and supports a healthy immune system. It also provides zinc, another essential mineral for immune function and wound healing, and vitamin B12, crucial for nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells.
While hanger steak does contain fat, a significant portion of it is monounsaturated fat, the same type found in olive oil, which can support heart health when consumed in moderation. Furthermore, the fat in hanger steak contributes to its rich flavor and juiciness.
However, like all red meats, hanger steak should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Although it’s nutrient-rich, it’s also high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease when consumed in excess. It’s also essential to prepare hanger steak healthily, opting for grilling or broiling over frying, and using a variety of herbs and spices for flavor instead of high-sodium seasonings.
Mastering the Art of Cooking Hanger Steak
One of the most important factors in cooking hanger steak is the marinating process. Because of its relatively tough nature, the steak benefits from marinating for at least a few hours, or better yet, overnight. A good marinade not only tenderizes the meat but also infuses it with flavor. You can experiment with different marinades based on your preference, but common ingredients include olive oil, acid (such as vinegar or citrus juice), garlic, and various herbs and spices.
The next step is to cook the steak. High-heat cooking methods like grilling or pan-searing are best for hanger steak. If grilling, preheat your grill to high heat. If pan-searing, heat a heavy skillet (cast iron works great) over high heat until smoking hot. In both cases, the aim is to create a nice, crusty sear on the outside of the steak without overcooking the inside. Typically, a few minutes per side will do the trick.
After cooking, let the steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, resulting in a moister cut of meat. When you do cut, remember to slice against the grain. This breaks up the muscle fibers and makes the steak easier to chew.
Seasoning and Marinating Hanger Steak
Seasoning and marinating are crucial steps in preparing a flavorful hanger steak. The right combination of spices and ingredients can enhance the natural flavor of the beef, tenderize the meat, and make for an unforgettable meal.
Start with a basic dry rub. Salt and pepper are essentials, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other spices like paprika, garlic powder, or even a bit of brown sugar for a caramelized finish. A dry rub will help to form a delicious crust on the outside of the steak when you sear it.
For the marinade, there are countless options, but a balanced marinade often includes an oil, an acid, and flavoring agents. Olive oil or another quality cooking oil helps to distribute the flavors evenly across the steak. An acid, such as red wine, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, helps to tenderize the steak by breaking down tough muscle fibers. Finally, flavoring agents like herbs (thyme, rosemary), spices (garlic, pepper), and sweeteners (honey, brown sugar) add depth to the taste.
Remember, the longer you marinate the steak, the more flavor it will have. A minimum of two hours is recommended, but for the best results, try to marinate the steak in the refrigerator overnight. Just remember to take the steak out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before cooking to let it come to room temperature, which will allow for more even cooking.
Grilling and Pan-Searing Techniques for Hanger Steak
Cooking hanger steak involves high-heat methods to sear the outside while keeping the interior juicy and flavorful. The most popular methods are grilling and pan-searing, each giving the steak a unique and delightful finish.
Grilling imparts a smoky flavor to the hanger steak that complements its robust beefy taste. To grill a hanger steak, preheat your grill to high heat. Once hot, place the steak on the grill and let it cook undisturbed for about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. This allows the steak to develop a charred, flavorful crust. Remember to let the steak rest for a few minutes after grilling to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing.
Pan-searing is another effective method for cooking hanger steak. Begin by heating a heavy pan, preferably cast iron, over high heat. Add a small amount of high-heat oil, such as canola or grapeseed. When the pan is hot, add the steak, cooking undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Again, resting after cooking is key to a juicy steak.
Whichever method you choose, the key is to avoid overcooking the steak. Hanger steak is best enjoyed medium-rare to medium, as cooking beyond this point will make the meat tougher and less flavorful. Use a meat thermometer for accuracy – a medium-rare steak should have an internal temperature of about 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit (54-57 degrees Celsius).
Achieving the Perfect Doneness for Hanger Steak
Achieving the perfect doneness for hanger steak can seem tricky, especially given its reputation for being a bit tougher than other cuts. But with the right techniques and a little practice, you can get the perfect medium-rare to medium steak every time.
The best way to gauge the doneness of a steak is by using an instant-read thermometer. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit (54-57 degrees Celsius). For medium, aim for 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit (57-63 degrees Celsius). Remember that the steak will continue to cook a bit more after you remove it from the heat source, due to residual heat, a phenomenon known as carryover cooking.
Aside from a thermometer, you can also use the touch test. A medium-rare steak should feel somewhat soft but will spring back quickly when touched. A medium steak should feel more firm and springy.
And finally, always let your steak rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This way, your hanger steak will be juicy, flavorful, and perfectly cooked.
Hanger Steak in Culinary World
Traditionally, hanger steak was more common in French cuisine, known as “onglet,” often served with shallots and frites in a classic bistro-style dish. Today, hanger steak has gained recognition in other cuisines. It’s commonly used in Mexican dishes, notably in tacos and fajitas, where its strong flavor can stand up to bold spices and sauces. In Asian cuisines, it’s often marinated in savory-sweet sauces and quickly grilled or stir-fried.
Additionally, hanger steak has become more recognized in the fine dining sphere as well. Chefs love its robust flavor and find it an excellent canvas for creative seasonings and accompaniments. Hanger steak can now be found on the menus of high-end steakhouses and gourmet restaurants, often served with innovative sauces and garnishes.
Despite being historically considered a “butcher’s secret,” due to each cow yielding only one hanger steak, it has risen to prominence due to its unique attributes. It’s a testament to the culinary world’s ability to rediscover and elevate such hidden gems.
Classic and Innovative Hanger Steak Recipes
The hanger steak is a versatile cut of beef that lends itself to a wide variety of recipes, from traditional classics to innovative gourmet dishes.
Among classic hanger steak recipes, one standout is the French “Steak Frites.” This simple dish pairs a well-cooked hanger steak with crispy French fries. The steak is typically pan-seared to perfection, then served with a pat of herb butter and a side of fresh greens.
Similarly, Mexican cuisine showcases hanger steak in “Carne Asada,” where the meat is marinated in a mix of citrus, garlic, and spices before being grilled and sliced. It’s commonly served in tacos, burritos, or alongside rice and beans.
For a more modern take on hanger steak, consider a recipe that pairs it with a chimichurri sauce. This bright, herbaceous Argentinian sauce, made with fresh parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil, perfectly complements the rich flavors of the steak.
Hanger steak also shines in Asian dishes. Try marinating the steak in a mix of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of sugar, then quickly sear it on high heat and slice it thin for a delicious stir-fry. The bold flavors of the marinade work well with the beefy hanger steak, making for a flavorful dish.
Whether you stick with a classic preparation or try something new and innovative, hanger steak offers a world of culinary possibilities to explore.
Best Side Dishes for Hanger Steak
While hanger steak stands out on its own for its unique taste and texture, the accompanying side dishes can elevate your meal to the next level. A good side dish should complement the steak’s robust flavor without overshadowing it.
Traditional steak sides, such as crispy fries or baked potatoes, are always a solid choice. For a French flair, consider Pommes Frites (French Fries) or Pommes Dauphinoise (a creamy, garlic-infused potato gratin). A simple side of crusty bread can also help soak up any extra juices or sauces.
For a lighter option, grilled or roasted vegetables provide a nice contrast to the rich, meaty steak. Try grilling asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini alongside the steak. Roasted Brussels sprouts or a fresh green salad can also provide a delightful contrast.
If you’re aiming for a Mexican-inspired meal, serve your hanger steak with sides like Spanish rice, refried beans, or a fresh Pico de Gallo. For a BBQ-style meal, try pairing your hanger steak with a tangy coleslaw or a hearty potato salad.
Finally, don’t forget about grains. Quinoa, farro, or a wild rice blend can provide a complex, nutty flavor that pairs well with hanger steak. Dress them up with some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon for a bright, fresh side dish.
Wine and Beverage Pairings with Hanger Steak
Choosing the right beverage to accompany your hanger steak can enhance the overall dining experience. Wine, in particular, can complement the flavors of the steak and any accompanying sauces or seasonings.
When pairing wine with hanger steak, consider the preparation method and any sauces or marinades used. Generally, hanger steak pairs well with full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. These wines have the structure and tannins to balance the rich, robust flavor of the steak.
If you’re serving the steak with a spicy or bold sauce, consider a wine with some sweetness to balance the heat. A Zinfandel or off-dry Riesling can be an excellent match.
For beer lovers, a brown ale or stout can stand up to the meaty, savory flavor of hanger steak. The malty sweetness and carbonation of these beers provide a nice contrast to the richness of the meat.
Don’t forget about non-alcoholic options as well. A good-quality sparkling water can cleanse the palate between bites, and iced tea or a fruit-based mocktail can also be a delightful accompaniment.
Remember, the best pairings are ones that you enjoy. Feel free to experiment and find the combinations that work best for your taste preferences.
Nutritional Insights of Hanger Steak
Alongside its impressive protein content, hanger steak is also a good source of various essential vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in Vitamin B12, a nutrient that supports brain function and the production of red blood cells. It also supplies zinc, an important mineral for immune health, and selenium, a potent antioxidant.
Iron, another critical mineral, is also found in hanger steak. The iron in meat, known as heme iron, is more readily absorbed by the body compared to non-heme iron found in plant-based sources. Therefore, hanger steak can contribute significantly to meeting daily iron requirements, helping to prevent conditions like anemia.
The Health Benefits of Hanger Steak
In addition to its rich nutrient profile, hanger steak offers several health benefits. The high-quality protein it provides is essential for maintaining muscle mass, particularly important for older adults to prevent muscle wasting. The amino acids found in this protein are also vital for various bodily functions, including hormone production and immune response.
Hanger steak’s vitamin B12 content plays a key role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and producing DNA. Regular intake of B12 is also linked with lower risks of heart disease and mental decline.
The iron provided by hanger steak helps in the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron also plays a vital role in energy production.
In terms of fat content, while hanger steak does contain saturated fats, it also provides monounsaturated fats, the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil.
However, like any other food, hanger steak should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Pair it with a variety of vegetables, whole grains, and other protein sources to ensure a wide range of nutrients. As with any meat, opt for organic, grass-fed options when possible, as these often contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Understanding the Macronutrients in Hanger Steak
Hanger steak, like most cuts of beef, is a rich source of protein. A 3-ounce serving of cooked hanger steak can deliver approximately 23 grams of protein, which aids in muscle building and repair, as well as contributing to feelings of fullness. This makes it a popular choice for those seeking to increase their protein intake, including athletes and people following high-protein diets.
Alongside protein, hanger steak also contains both saturated and unsaturated fats. These fats serve a number of functions in the body, from providing a concentrated source of energy to supporting cell growth and the absorption of certain vitamins. However, given that high levels of saturated fat can contribute to heart disease, it’s important to consume hanger steak and other high-fat foods in moderation.
In terms of carbohydrates, hanger steak contains virtually none, making it a suitable choice for low-carb or ketogenic diets. However, keep in mind that balanced meals typically include a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, so consider pairing your hanger steak with nutrient-dense sources of carbs like whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Incorporating Hanger Steak into a Balanced Diet
While hanger steak is a nutritious food, it’s important to consume it as part of a balanced diet. To create a well-rounded meal, pair hanger steak with a variety of other food groups.
Vegetables, for instance, can balance out the richness of the steak with their high fiber content, while also adding a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your meal. Aim to fill half your plate with a colorful array of veggies, such as leafy greens, bell peppers, or roasted Brussels sprouts.
Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat bread can provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, as well as additional fiber. If you’re following a low-carb diet, you could opt for low-starch vegetables like cauliflower or zucchini instead.
Finally, consider incorporating healthy fats into your meal, if the preparation of the steak doesn’t already include them. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over your vegetables, or a handful of nuts or seeds on the side, can provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and further enhance the nutrient profile of your meal.
Overall, while hanger steak is a tasty and nutrient-dense choice, remember that variety is key in a healthy diet. Enjoy it as part of a balanced, varied eating plan that includes plenty of plant foods and other protein sources.
Serving and Savoring Hanger Steak
Serving hanger steak doesn’t just involve placing it on a plate, it’s also about appreciating its unique qualities and savoring the delectable eating experience it provides. From the first cut into the perfectly cooked steak revealing the juicy interior, to the complex flavors that unfold with each bite, hanger steak offers a feast for the senses that extends well beyond basic nutrition.
Hanger steak is best served sliced against the grain to maximize tenderness. By cutting against the grain, you shorten the muscle fibers, which enhances the perceived tenderness of the steak. This can make all the difference between a good steak and a great one.
Presentation can also elevate the dining experience. Serving hanger steak on a warm plate can help to keep it hot for longer, and arranging the slices in a fan shape can showcase the beautiful sear and interior of the steak. Pairing it with sides that complement its robust flavor, such as a fresh green salad, grilled vegetables, or creamy mashed potatoes, can further enhance its appeal.
It’s also worth noting that the joy of serving and savoring hanger steak isn’t limited to formal dining occasions. Whether it’s a simple weeknight dinner or a gourmet meal for a special celebration, there’s always room for hanger steak on the menu.
Enhancing Your Hanger Steak Meal with Artful Plating
Artful plating can take a hanger steak meal from ordinary to extraordinary. It not only enhances the visual appeal of your dish but also sets the stage for the sensory experience that is to follow. Here are a few techniques that you can use to create an eye-catching presentation.
First, consider the plate as your canvas and the food as your paint. Start with a clean, preferably white, plate that allows the colors of your food to stand out. Arrange your food in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, bearing in mind the principles of balance and contrast.
When plating your hanger steak, slice it against the grain and arrange the slices in a fan shape or slightly overlapped. This can show off the perfectly cooked interior of the steak, adding to the anticipation of the first bite.
Your sides also play an important role in your presentation. Consider their colors, shapes, and textures and how they can complement the steak. For instance, a vibrant green salad or some roasted vegetables can add a pop of color and a contrasting texture. Or, for a more gourmet presentation, you could pipe mashed potatoes onto the plate and garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs.
Remember, the aim of artful plating is to whet the appetite and enhance the dining experience. So, feel free to get creative and have some fun with it. After all, we eat with our eyes first!
Choosing the Right Accompaniments for Your Hanger Steak
The right accompaniments can make a good hanger steak meal truly memorable. The robust, beefy flavor of hanger steak pairs well with a variety of side dishes, sauces, and wines. The key is to choose accompaniments that complement the steak, enhancing its flavors rather than overshadowing them.
For side dishes, consider the texture and flavor of hanger steak. Because it’s a lean and flavorful cut, it pairs well with rich, creamy sides like mashed potatoes or gratin dauphinois. Alternatively, a fresh, tangy salad can offer a pleasing contrast. Grilled vegetables are another great option; the caramelization from grilling can mirror the delicious char on the steak, and vegetables’ natural sweetness can balance the steak’s savory flavor.
Sauces can also elevate a hanger steak meal. Classic options like a red wine reduction or béarnaise sauce work beautifully, but don’t be afraid to experiment. A spicy chimichurri or an earthy mushroom sauce could also be delightful.
As for wines, reds are typically the go-to for steak. Full-bodied options like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec can stand up to the steak’s rich flavors. If you prefer white wine, opt for something bold and oaky like a Chardonnay.
Remember, the best accompaniments are the ones that you enjoy. So feel free to experiment and find your perfect pairings.
Experiencing Hanger Steak at the World’s Best Steakhouses
Steakhouses around the world have long recognized the appeal of hanger steak, showcasing it alongside more traditional steak cuts. These establishments often source their beef from high-quality, sustainable producers and use expert cooking techniques to highlight the meat’s distinctive flavor and texture.
In France, hanger steak, known as “onglet,” is a bistro classic. Here, it’s typically served rare to medium-rare, with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, and often accompanied by shallots, fries, and a glass of robust red wine.
In the U.S., upscale steakhouses like Peter Luger in New York and Hawksmoor in London also feature hanger steak. These establishments serve it with an array of gourmet sides, such as creamed spinach, truffle mac and cheese, or sautéed mushrooms.
In Argentina, a country famous for its beef, hanger steak, or “entraña,” is a staple at asados (barbecues). It’s often marinated in chimichurri sauce before being grilled over wood or charcoal for a smoky flavor.
Experiencing hanger steak at one of these steakhouses can be a culinary adventure. It offers an opportunity to taste this unique cut prepared by expert chefs and perhaps discover new ways to enjoy it at home.
1. Q: What is hanger steak?
A: Hanger steak is a cut of beef prized for its flavor. It is a part of the diaphragm that hangs from the plate section of a cow. Its name derives from the fact that it just “hangs” there.
2. Q: How is hanger steak best cooked?
A: Hanger steak is best cooked quickly over high heat. Due to its loose grain and rich flavor, it’s particularly well-suited to grilling or pan-searing.
3. Q: What’s the difference between hanger steak and skirt steak?
A: Both hanger steak and skirt steak come from the plate of the cow, but they have different textures and flavors. Hanger steak is lean and packed with flavor, while skirt steak is more fibrous and robust.
4. Q: How should I season my hanger steak?
A: Keep it simple to let the meat’s flavor shine through. Salt, pepper, and a high-heat oil are all you need. For additional flavor, consider a marinade or a topping like chimichurri sauce.
5. Q: What sides pair well with hanger steak?
A: Hanger steak pairs well with many sides. Traditional choices include mashed potatoes, fries, or a green salad. Grilled vegetables or a starch like risotto could also complement the steak nicely.