Local friends: I’ll be cooking a four-course dinner as a guest chef at So Gourmet Pensacola on Saturday, January 17th from 6-8pm. There are still seats available, RSVP for the event here. See you then!
Hanger steak is a v-shaped cut taken from the diaphragm of the cow. It was a relatively rare cut until recently, because butchers commonly kept it for themselves; in fact, another name for this cut is “butcher’s cut”. It weighs less than two pounds, which is a perfect size for whipping up a date-night dish. Gents, take note: we’re only a little over a month out from Valentine’s Day – plenty of time to practice this recipe beforehand!
Hanger steak works best when cooked quickly over a high heat, and served medium rare. Marinating the cut will infuse it with a punch of flavor, but it takes a little away from the spontaneity of this dish. Instead, I like to complement the simple, tender steak with a rich sauce, like the Bordelaise in today’s recipe.
There are two basic elements to a flavorful Bordelaise Sauce: demi-glace (a dark, reduced broth) and bone marrow. An excellent source of bone marrow is, appropriately, directly from marrow bones. When making broth, I tend to scoop out about half of the marrow from bones beforehand to use in other cooking adventures. It keeps for about a week in the fridge, and works well in any dish that calls for butter. If you don’t have access to bone marrow for the sauce, no worries. Simply use 1 tbsp of butter instead of the marrow, and it’ll still taste great.
Hanger Steak with Bordelaise Sauce
1 lb hanger steak (or skirt steak)
1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp bone marrow
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ghee or lard
salt to taste
1 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
1. Season the steak with salt and pepper and set aside while we prepare the sauce.
2. Let’s make a quick demi-glace. In a saucepan, combine the beef broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil over med/high heat, then boil rapidly to reduce until thick and dark and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes; stir frequently. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat to med/low, then add the marrow to the saucepan. Once melted, strain out any chunks of bone (if any), then return to the pan. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red wine, thyme, pepper, and demi-glace and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low and keep warm while you prepare the steak.
4. In a large skillet, warm the ghee over med/high heat until shimmering, about 4 minutes. Gently blot away any accumulated liquid from the steak with a paper towel, then add to the skillet. Brown until dark and crisp, about 4 minutes per side, turning down the heat to prevent burning if needed. Cook to an internal temperature of 125F for Rare, 130F for Medium Rare, or 135F for Medium; test for doneness with an instant-read thermometer or the finger test. Once done, transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes while we finish the sauce.
5. Transfer the sauce to a blender (or Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth. Pour out and discard any remaining ghee from the skillet, then add the sauce. Bring to a simmer over med/low, scraping up any browned hanger steak bits. To finish, cut the cold butter into cubes and stir into the sauce one at a time. Once incorporated, taste and add salt if needed.
6. Slice the steak into bite-sized chunks then serve with the sauce. We ended up tossing the steak pieces with the sauce and it was super awesome.
** For a dairy-free option, don’t add the cold butter to the sauce.