The history of the hanger steak recipes can be traced back to the 19th century when it was a popular cut of beef among butchers and their families. It was known as the “butcher’s steak” because butchers often kept it for themselves instead of selling it in their shops.
Butchers and their families highly prized the hanger steak for its rich flavor and tender texture, even though it comes from a part of the cow that is typically not used for meat production, as it is not as large or tender as other cuts.
In the early 20th century, as the popularity of beef grew in the United States, hanger steak became more widely known and sought after by chefs and consumers. Its unique flavor and texture made it a favorite among food enthusiasts, and it became a staple on menus in upscale restaurants.
Today, hanger steak continues to be a popular cut of beef, prized for its rich flavor and tender texture. While it is no longer a well-kept secret among butchers and their families, it remains a favorite of chefs and foodies alike.
What Is Hanger Steak?
Hanger steak, also known as butcher’s steak, is a cut of beef from the cow’s lower belly near the diaphragm. It is a tender and flavorful cut that has recently gained popularity among chefs and food enthusiasts.
The hanger steak got its name from its unique shape, which resembles a hanger. It is long and thin, with a thick, meaty center and tapered ends. The meat is usually marbled with fat, which gives it a rich flavor and tender texture.
To achieve the best results, cooking hanger steak quickly over high heat, such as on a grill, to medium-rare or medium doneness, is recommended. People often serve it sliced thin against the grain, which is delicious either on its own or as part of a salad or sandwich. As hanger steak is a flavorful cut of meat, it doesn’t require a lot of seasoning or complicated preparation.
Hanger Steak Recipe
Here’s a simple recipe for cooking hanger steak:
- 1 pound hanger steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary
- Remove the hanger steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking.
- Preheat your grill or a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides and any additional herbs, if desired.
- Drizzle the steak with olive oil, rubbing it in to ensure the entire surface is coated.
- Place the steak on the grill or in the skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
- Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain.
- Serve the steak hot with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a salad.
Enjoy your delicious and flavorful hanger steak!
Preparation Time & Serving Of Hanger Steak Recipe
The preparation time for cooking hanger steak can vary depending on the cooking method. Still, it usually takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare and 10-15 minutes to cook, plus additional time for resting. So, you can expect to spend around 20-30 minutes preparing and cooking hanger steak.
As for serving, a 1-pound hanger steak can typically serve about 2-3 people as a main dish. It’s often served sliced thinly against the grain and paired with various sides, such as roasted vegetables, potatoes, or a salad. You can also use hanger steak in sandwiches, tacos, and other dishes where a flavorful and tender cut of meat is desired.
What to serve with hanger steak
The hanger steak recipe pairs well with various sides that complement its rich, beefy flavor. Here are a few suggestions for what to serve with hanger steak:
- Roasted vegetables: Brussels sprouts, carrots, or asparagus are great choices that add color and texture to the plate.
- Potatoes: Mashed, roasted, or even crispy French fries can be a hearty and satisfying side dish.
- Salad: A fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the steak.
- Grilled corn: Grilled corn on the cob or corn salad with lime and cilantro can add a touch of sweetness and freshness to the plate.
- Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms, such as portobello or shiitake, pair well with hanger steak and provide an earthy flavor.
- Rice or quinoa: Rice or quinoa can be a good base for the meal, providing a neutral taste that allows the flavors of the steak to shine.
- Red wine: Hanger steak pairs well with red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir, which can complement the steak’s rich and bold flavors.
Remember, when choosing sides to serve with hanger steak, balance the flavors and textures to create a well-rounded meal.
How to cut hanger steak
Cutting hanger steak properly ensures it is both tender and flavorful. Here are the steps to cutting hanger steak:
- Identify the grain: Before cutting, locate the hanger steak’s grain (the lines that run through the meat). The grain is important to identify because it affects the tenderness of the meat.
- Slice against the grain: Using a sharp knife, slice the hanger steak against the grain into thin strips. This means cutting perpendicular to the grain, which helps to break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender.
- Cut into portions: Once the hanger steak is sliced into strips, you can cut it into portions that are easy to serve. Depending on the size of the steak and your desired serving size, you can cut the strips in half or into smaller pieces.
- Serve and enjoy: Arrange the cut hanger steak on a serving platter and enjoy it with your favorite sides.
It’s important to note that hanger steak can have a line of connective tissue running down the center called the “sinew.” It’s best to remove this tough part before cooking, as it can be difficult to cut through and affect the meat’s tenderness.
Are hanger steak and flank steak the same?
No, hanger steak and flank steak are not the same cut of meat. While they are both cuts of beef that come from the abdominal area of the cow, they have some differences in texture, flavor, and appearance.
The hanger steak attaches to the diaphragm and comes from the “plate” section of the cow. It has a tender and juicy texture, a rich beefy flavor, and pronounced grain. Many people describe it as having a “beefy” or “gamey” taste, and it is a popular cut for grilling or broiling.
Flank steak, on the other hand, comes from the lower belly of the cow and is known for its long and flat shape. It has a coarse grain and a beefy flavor that is less intense than hanger steak. Flank steak is commonly used for fajitas, stir-fries, or sandwiches.
While both hanger and flank steak are flavorful cuts of beef, they are not interchangeable in recipes. Each cut has its unique texture and flavor profile, so it’s best to use the specific cut called for in a recipe or choose the cut that best suits your desired outcome.
How do you tenderize hanger steak?
Hanger steak is known for its rich, beefy flavor but can be hard if not cooked properly. Here are a few ways to tenderize hanger steak for the best recipe.
- Marinate: Marinating hanger steak can help to tenderize the meat and add flavor. A marinade can be made with acidic ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, as well as oil and seasonings. You can marinate the steak for a few hours or overnight.
- Pound: Pounding the hanger steak with a meat mallet or the back of a heavy pan can help to break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender. Be careful not to overdo it, which can turn the meat into mush.
- Score: Scoring the hanger steak’s surface can help tenderize the meat and allow the marinade to penetrate. Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts in a crosshatch pattern on both sides of the steak.
- Cook hanger steak to medium-rare or medium for the best results, as overcooking can make it tough and dry. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure that the steak is cooked well to the right temperature.
- Rest before slicing: After cooking, allow the hanger steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.
Remember, hanger steak is naturally more tender than some other cuts of beef, so it doesn’t require as much tenderizing as, say, a flank steak. However, these techniques can help to ensure that the hanger steak is as tender and delicious as possible.