Hanger steak with shallots & mushrooms

PB020835Hanger steak (ongelet in French, or lombatello in Italian) is my favorite cut of beef.  Part of the diaphragm, hanger can be hard to find at retail butchers, as each animal has just one such muscle.  While not meltingly tender, it has a deep, mineral flavor, similar to flank steak (which is cut from the same muscle as hanger).  It is a dense, distinctively grained cut of meat, usually divided into two to remove the band of connective tissue running down its center.  Best cooked to rare or medium-rare, hanger turns to rubber if well-done.  Cochon Butcher stocks hanger steak–I’m so happy to have, at last, a regular source for it.

PB020836To ensure that the hanger steak (dried with paper towels, sprinkled with just salt & ground pepper) gets a nice sear without overcooking, I like to cook it in a cast iron skillet heated to 550 degrees atop my Big Green Egg grill (with the lid open).  After the inital sear, the steak cooks on the grill while I deglaze the skillet with a lump of butter, a few glugs of red wine, thinly sliced shallots, and sliced mushrooms.  A dab of butter melting atop the steak adds to the char and flavor.

PB020838By the time the wine reduces to a syrupy consistency, the steak is an ideal medium rare inside.  The whole process takes about 10-12 minutes.  A side of thin-cut french fries completes the steak-frites of my dreams…

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