Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ongbat? Ong-what???

Was at K's place last weekend for a mini-feast and thought I would share my recipe for onglet aka Hanger Steak.

First off, there is only one onglet per steer. That's right, only one. The more onglet you order, the more steers need to die to satisfy your cravings, but it's so worth it. The hanger steak sits on the bottom of the animal and kinda, well, "hangs" there from the diapraghm of the steer. It's a stringy cut of meat that's V-shaped, marbled and oh so delicious. Most importantly, it's not well-known in America so you can seem very continental to your friends.

The problem with this exclusivity is that it's difficult to find in most supermarkets. Don't confuse this with a plain, old flank steak. This steak takes commitment. Chances are you will need to order it from your butcher.

Which brings me to another point: go find yourself a good butcher. One who knows what he's talking about and can order what you need. Need onlget for a special dinner? No problem. Need fifty pounds of veal bones for stock? He'll get it. It's a love affair in the truest sense of the word. Just say the word and in a couple days there is your meat, cut and trimmed specially for you (to your specifications), wrapped elegantly in butchers paper and ready for your culinary expertise.

Like I said, the onglet is v-shaped with an inedible center seam that must be removed (or at least left uneaten). My personal recommendation is to have your butcher cut out the center seam, leaving two long halves that can then be butterflied to even out the thickness and prepared for grilling.

Grill or pan sear, the choice is yours. Either way, the hanger steak is meant for medium and nothing more. If you're a well-done kinda steak eater then please click off my blog and get away.

For K's party, I chose a simple preparation of freshly ground pepper and Hawaiian Ala'e Red Salt. I like to use both liberally. Meanwhile, make sure you are preheating your oven to 375 degrees Farhenheit. In a saute pan, heat up a little oil and add a couple pats of butter once the oil is hot. Wait for the fizziness to subside and then sear the steaks on both sides for two mintues.

Once seared, transfer steaks to a roasting pan and into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. This should result in nicely medium steaks. Once finished, put aside and let them rest for about five minutes before serving.

If you're interested in making a sauce for the steak, reheat the pan and deglaze with a bit of white wine, reduce by half, add some butter, add a little dark chicken stock, reduce by half, pull from the heat and whisk in a little dijon mustard. If you've allowed the steaks to sit, there should be some au jus - whisk that into the sauce and you're good to go.

While hot steamed rice is preferred and frites are a nice accompaniment, R's corn casserole did the trick just nicely...