Well, friends, we have come to the end of this steak series road. I’ve spent the past several weeks telling you all you need to know about New York Strip, Filet Mignon and Rib Eye. In order that we might finish strong, let’s chop up one more classic: the often-underrated hanger steak. Done right, it can rank with the others in terms of impressiveness, memorable-ness and most of all flavor. Here’s how.
1. Know Your Cut
The hanger steak is great. Why? First, it’s tender when you cook it right. Second, it boasts a rich, beefy flavor. Finally, it’s inexpensive. A pound of hanger steak isn’t going to cost you more than seven or eight bucks.
The hanger steak cooks fast due to its tenderness. Get it nice and charred as you bring it all the way to (wait for it) medium. No typo there, gents.
2. Marinate On This
Anyone following this series knows that I tend to prefer a subtly flavored rub. Well, we’re going to break all the rules this time and begin with a marinade. Throw the steaks into your favorite barbecue sauce in the morning and cook them at night. The citrus and acid in the sauce break down the meat, tenderizing the steak and giving you a fun, flavorful dinner. I like Newman’s Own, myself.
3. Cook It Crisp
The hanger steak cooks fast due to its tenderness. Before you throw it in the broiler, give it a good rub with a dry chili rub. The cut cooks very quickly, so keep your eye on it as it broils to 425. Get it nice and charred as you bring it all the way to (wait for it) medium. No typo there, gents. You want this one medium, not medium rare, as it tends to be a bit chewy when you leave it too rare.
4. Pair with Veggies and Booze
Pair with a very simple mixed green salad and vinaigrette. Throw some color into it with red tomatoes, yellow peppers and avocado. Mashed potatoes and a side of grilled asparagus will work very well, too. While I often recommend wine, Danish or Belgian beers compliment this meal quite well.
5. Keep Dessert Simple and Sweet
I recommend a sorbet. After so much flavor, you’re going to want to refresh your palate with something delicious yet refreshing.
6. Enjoy These Parting Gifts
So, you now know how to prepare four different steak dinners. I started the first article with some general tips on what to buy and how to buy it. I’ll close this last one with a few thoughts on prepping, cooking and throwing a classy and successful dinner party. Remember, men, I’ve done it myself once or twice. Ignore me at your peril.
Color: You want your meat to be a rich, cherry red hue. Firm texture and abundant marbling mean good meat.
Grilling: It doesn’t matter if you’re using gas or coals. Set up your grill so that it has different zones. Start off on the hot spot and find another hot spot when you flip it.
Juicy: Don’t flip the steaks more than you need to (which often means, don’t flip them more than once). Once the steak is cooked, make sure to let it sit for a couple minutes before serving to let the juices distribute throughout the steak.
Timing: Always know how long it will take your sides to cook so that they’re ready at the right time. This is critical.
Vino: I give suggestions as an expert, but here’s a little secret: any wine you like is good. When in doubt, just pick your favorite.
Ambiance: When you have people over, dim the lights, light some candles and throw on some good music. It’ll do wonders for the atmosphere.
The most important tip of all? Have fun. I know I have telling you all about steak. Thanks for reading, and happy eating!