Thursday, July 19, 2012

Marinated Hanger Steak - Red Wine & Strong Coffee

Marinade from Fine Cooking fortunately saved to my Pinterest Board  the photo of just the steak did not look very tempting - but look closely to see the gorgeous darkness of the marinade.  

Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Marinating time: 1 hour on the counter or up to 4 days in the fridge
Grill time: 8-10 minutes for medium rare
Rest time: 5 minutes to relax the meat

Serves 3-4 depending on the size of your hanger steak and your appetite

2 lb/1kg (1-inch-thick) hanger steak (not so easy to find, so make friends with a butcher - mine is Chris de Waal of Getaway Farm) If you can't find or don't want to bother with hanger steak, try flank or skirt steak instead.
Marinade:1 cup brewed espresso or very strong black coffee, at room temperature 
1 cup full-flavored red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, or Zinfandel 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
4 medium cloves garlic, grated on a rasp grater 
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard 
1-1/2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar 
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce 
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 
Coarsely ground black pepper

Marinade:  Just whisk all the ingredients together and pour into a sturdy zip lock baggie.

Hanger Steak:
Butchering - A lesson from my friend Chef Dennis Johnston of fidResto
It's critical to remove the membrane that coats the hanger steak (just loosen with a sharp knife tip and peel back with your fingers), allowing the marinade to penetrate the meat.
It's also necessary to remove the thick sinew that runs down the length of the hanger steak (below: that's what it looks like when removed)
And now you have two beautiful fillets to marinate and the sinew to discard.
1. Put the hanger steaks into the ziplock baggie.  I usually place it on a rimmed cookie sheet to avoid finding marinade 'soup' all over the fridge.

2. Marinate for up to 4 days in the fridge or one hour on the counter before grilling. The steak should be at room temperature before cooking, so if you're refrigerating the steak, bring them out about 30 minutes or so before grilling.

1. Heat your grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Cut the long fillets in half across, for easier cooking.

2. Oil grill rack/pan and add the fillets and grill for 3 minutes before flipping. The steaks should come free without sticking to the grill or needing any help from a spatula. In the photo above, you can see the caramelizing effect.

3. Grill for another 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and turn every minute or so until done to your liking. We usually like it medium rare and so add another minute or two on each side.

Chef Dennis Johnston’s tip: flip the side closest to the grill grates or pan onto a plate so that the meat sits hot side up. This ensures that the heat will rise into the air rather than go through the meat and continue to cook it. Place the plate in the fridge for 4-5 minutes. The center will retain the heat but the meat will be more tender than if you serve it hot off the grill

Slice thinly across the grain, which for the hanger steak, means lengthwise and the very reason I cut the fillets in half to grill.

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