Wandering through a fancy grocery store, I discovererd a piece of hanger steak in the discount meat bin. Yes, I confess on occasion I buy meat from the discount bin. It hasn't killed me yet. I decided to buy it because I had never cooked hanger steak. My local grocery stores don't carry it and when I do see it for sale it's prohibitively expensive due to its current restaurant popularity. The fact that there is only one hanger steak per cow might also drive up the price.
The hanger steak is a piece of meat that literally hangs from the diaphragm of the cow. It's similar in texture to the skirt steak (diaphragm) which we encounter frequently as fajita meat. Sometimes it's referred to as hanging tender or butcher's steak (traditionally the butcher claimed it for himself rather than offering it for sale). Hanger steak is a flavorful but tough, grainy piece of meat like skirt and flank, so it must be cooked and carved with care in order to be appetizing. Cook it over high heat briefly to rare-medium rare and slice it thinly against the grain for the best results.
Marinate a hanger steak in olive oil, minced garlic, and fresh herb sprigs (thyme or rosemary work well) for 8 hours to overnight. I find it's easiest to marinate in heavy-duty zip-lock bags.
A few hours before dinner peel an English cucumber, slice thinly at a slant and toss with S & P and a few T of white wine vinegar. Let sit.
Slice a handful of radishes thinly.
Prepare a tomato vinaigrette. Cut a shallow cross in the bottom of 3 large ripe tomatoes. Drop them in boiling water for about one minute, then drop them in a bowl of ice water. The skin will slip off easily when cool. Remove the core and dice tomatoes (get rid of juice). Stir together 4T EVOO, 1 T white wine vinegar, 1 T horseradish, 1 T chopped fresh tarragon (or parsley or basil if you can't find tarragon), and S & P to taste. Toss with tomatoes.
Heat a grill to high heat. Pat steak dry and grill to medium rare, a few minutes on each side. (As you can see I erred on the rare side.) Allow steak to sit covered with tin foil for 5 minutes.
To serve toss a bunch of arugula with the radishes, EVOO, splashes of balsamic vinegar and S & P to taste. Slice steak thinly across the grain. Divide arugula between 4 plates. Fan steak and cucumber slices around arugula. Drizzle tomato vinaigrette over all.
This is an easy light dish that was inspired by a recipe on a CBS news website.