Hanger Steak with Chimmichuri Sauce
When properly cooked and sliced, a hanger steak is every bit as tender as a ribeye.
Hanger steak 1.3-1.5kgs serves 4 people
How To Trim Your Steak
You'll want to first start by removing all silverskin and excess fat from the exterior with a sharp skinny boning knife. Slide the tip of the knife under the silverskin, grab the skin with your free hand, then carefully pull the knife under it, taking off as little meat as you can (pic 2).
Eventually, you'll end up with a piece of meat with two muscles attached by a thick sinew that runs down their centre (pic 3).
Cut the steak in half along the sinew to separate it into two individual hanger steaks, then trim each one down and you're ready to cook (pic 4).
How To Cook It
There are a number of ways to cook hanger both indoors and out, but no matter where you cook it, you want to make sure that you cook it to medium-rare or medium, no more, no less. Unlike ribeye steak, which will still be pretty tender and juicy at medium or beyond, a hanger steak has a very coarse texture with a distinct grain running through it. Anywhere beyond medium, it gets too rubbery to chew. Undercook it on the other hand, and you get meat that is mushy and slippery. Rare hanger steak is simply not the same as rare tenderloin, ribeye or strip.
Use a thermometer and cook it to the sweet spot between 52°C and 54°C degrees (this gives it some leeway to rise in temperature as it rests).
Very high heat is essential as well. Hanger steaks are relatively thin, and you want to give them a nice char before they get a chance to start overcooking.
When going on the grill, we like to pile up a full chimney of coals under one side of the grill grate and cook them full blast from start to finish, flipping occasionally until they're done.
In a pan, use cast iron and go for smoking hot high heat.
Finally, hanger steaks are good candidates for sous-vide cooking, as it guarantees that they cook evenly all the way through. Cook them in a 52°C to 54°C water bath, then finish them off with the highest possible heat on a grill or stovetop.
When serving, it is essential to slice the meat against the grain. This will shorten the long, grainy muscle fibers, making it easier to chew. When properly cooked and sliced, a hanger steak is every bit as tender as a ribeye.
Other Flavourings and Sauces
Because of its loose texture, hanger takes well to marinating. We generally rub ours in a mixture of olive oil with garlic, fresh herbs and peppercorns for a day or so before wiping it dry and grilling with plenty of salt and pepper. The oil helps the seasonings spread their flavour around the meat, as well as aiding browning on the grill. It's one of the best cuts for various South American, Mexican and Southeast Asian recipes as well, as it takes well to citrusy marinades or dressings, as well as spicy sauces.
Chimmichuri Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh continental parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh coriander sprigs, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Half a red onion roughly chopped
- 125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- Pinch of dried red chilli flakes
Pack all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz on pulse setting until an even but rough sauce texture is obtained. Don’t blend for too long or it will become a paste. Store in a jar in the fridge covered in excess olive oil to prevent oxidation and browning. Simply spoon over the meat to serve.