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Thread: How to: Hanger Steak

  1. #1
    TVWBB Platinum Member j biesinger's Avatar
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    I haven't had much luck finding solid info on hanger steaks, either on the internet or in my book collection. I have few recipes and a few mentions, but nothing really informative on what you're are supposed to do with the cut. My local Restaurant Depot always has them on hand and they are under $3 a pound, so I always grab a pack when I'm there and have gone through a good number of them in the past few months. Since I have a bit of practice with them, I thought I'd put together this post to encourage others to try this really unique cut. I'm also hoping some wiser board members can inject some useful information, so I can learn something too.

    From what I read, the hanger steak hangs in the abdominal cavity near the tenderloin, and it sits near the kidney. Itís said to have a mild kidney flavor, which might explain its unique taste. I suspect most of the kidney-like flavor lies in the hanger's fat, which I judiciously remove, leaving me with a nice tasting steak that certainly has a unique flavor but nothing disagreeable (personally I love the flavor).

    Iíve read that the hanger hasnít been traditional marketed because there is only one per cow, and the butcher would take it home rather than sell it. The hanger is not symmetrical, so I canít figure out how there can only be one per cow (when a cow is clearly symmetrical). Youíll see the hanger consists of a thicker and a thinner side.

    Hereís a shot of the cryo 2 pack. It weighed in just shy of 5 lbs.



    Out of the cryo, the hanger has a bit of a membrane that is similar to the ďskinĒ found on ribs, but generally easier to remove. It seems to be most firmly attached to the outside edges, where it tends to be fatty so, Iíll use the knife to free it, taking some fat with it.






    These shots show the two sides of the ďskinnedĒ hanger. At this point, the connective tissue, which runs down the middle, is clearly visible. Also the grain, which angles away from the connective tissue like a feather, can be seen.





    From here, Iíll separate the two sides by cutting down the vein of sinew. With a fillet knife, Iíll clean it off from the muscle. I also trim off any bits of fat and sinew around the edges of the muscles.

    Youíll be left with 2 slender logs, one a bit larger in diameter. At this point they can be handled as is, butterflied into thin steaks, or cubed for skewers. The thick side will make a meal for us (2 adults and a small child) so Iíll freeze them individually for later. Tonight, I grilled the two thin sides (other thin side not shown)for tacos.



    the top muscle shows where the sinew has been removed.


    Because of the slightly stronger flavor of the hanger, they take well to other bold flavors. The rub I used for these tacos consisted of: ancho, orange zest, cumin, Ceylon cinnamon, and clove.



    After grilling and resting, Iíll thinly slice them across the grain. Sorry for the lack of gratuitous plate pic but we were running late for softball practice and this was supposed to be a quick meal.
    j biesinger
    nickel city smokers

  2. #2
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    Bad move jb. Now anyone can do it, demand will increase and so will prices.

    Excellent how-to photos. I think this is a first for the web.

    Jim

  3. #3
    TVWBB Platinum Member j biesinger's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Bad move jb. Now anyone can do it, demand will increase and so will prices. Big Grin

    Excellent how-to photos. I think is a first for the web.

    Jim </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    believe me, I was considering that when I hit "post now." But I have a secret source if RD ever stops carrying them. They are double the price from my secret source but at $4 a pound they are still a deal IMO (even minus the trimmings).
    j biesinger
    nickel city smokers

  4. #4
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    For a couple of years I've been preparing hanger steak by combining these two recipes:

    http://bbq.about.com/od/steakrecipes/r/bln40930a.htm

    http://www.foodandwine.com/rec...-smoked-hanger-steak

    Just start with the marinade and finish with the smoking and grilling. I skip the balsamic reduction/glaze. Turns out really nice.

    Oh, and NICE job cleaning that hanger steak! That's always the toughest part of the cook.

    -Mike

  5. #5
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    Jeff - Thanks for the great info on trimming & preparing the Hangar Steak. Lots of info floating around on the internet but little on the "Git er done" to get it ready part. Thanks a million. Bob
    Eatin "n" Q'n - If you ain't messy / You ain't doin it right
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  6. #6
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Jim Lampe's Avatar
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    Excellent demonstration Jeff!
    Actually, having the hanger tomorrow, I was told by the butcher at Sendik's that they're getting in 60# of hanger today, so, I'll be stopping for a couple of "slender logs"...
    Love the hanger!
    Living a dream in
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  7. #7
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    Wish I could get hanger steaks conveniently. I've had the cut twice in restaurants and love it.
    Smoke'em if you got'em.
    WSM (18.5") / Weber Performer / Broil King gasser

  8. #8
    TVWBB Platinum Member j biesinger's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Wish I could get hanger steaks conveniently. I've had the cut twice in restaurants and love it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    My secret source is actually a local angus beef producer. I'll bet if you have any around that sell cuts, they'll be able to hook you up.
    j biesinger
    nickel city smokers

  9. #9
    TVWBB Gold Member Don Cash's Avatar
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    Great info, Jeff! Thanks!
    .
    18.5 WSM ē 22.5 Weber OTG ē 22.5 Weber Performer

  10. #10
    TVWBB Platinum Member j biesinger's Avatar
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    It's hard to believe but it's been two years since I've put this up, and I've trimmed plenty more hangers in that time. I took some new pics the other day because I've gotten better at figuring out the band of silver skin that runs right down the middle of the hanger. The key problem is that it does not run perpendicular to your board and you can't cut straight down and expect to get two clean halves. My new technique involves making a shallow "guide cut" along the line of silver skin on both sides of the hanger, and then I lift the hanger off the board and start cutting in at the end where the line ends right at the V. I keep the knife blade lined up with the two guide cuts, separating the hanger sides apart and splitting the sliver skin down the middle. The sliver skin is easily removed from both halves with a flexible fillet knife (similar to skinning a fish).

    before and after:


    hanger trimmed of fat and membrane. Note the defined line that starts at the V end (left) and runs down through the hanger


    starting the cut, following the guide cuts. At this point, you can see I did a better job of splitting the sliver skin along the bottom than I did at the top (my top guide cut wasn't on the line)


    after correcting my blade angle, I did a better job keeping the cut through the silver skin


    take off the silver skin like your skinning a fish


    and your done
    j biesinger
    nickel city smokers

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