In Bryan's Words
This steak has more names then you can shake a stick at! For years know as the Butcher Steak (honest reason: for years, we couldn’t give them away so it was a frequently occurring dinner at the butcher’s house) Then when the Chefs discovered them as an inexpensive alternative to the traditional steaks two things happened: first, they got more expensive and second, they acquired a trendy, bistro friendly name and morphed into Hanger Steak. Peel away all the layers and you get to the true name, which actually tells you a lot about the steak: “Hanging Tenderloin”. This is because it is second only to the Filet Mignon in terms of tenderness when compared to the other steaks. (Actually, that last statement isn’t entirely applicable to the steaks you’ll find here, because I’ve got quite a few that will give both the filet and the hanger a run for their tenderness money, but that’s another matter)
Since here at Bryans we are also quite hip, we will henceforth refer to this cut as the Hanger Steak. One interesting thing about the hanger is that running right down the center of the steak is a major tendon that has to be removed. This thing is so formidable that if you didn’t remove it and started chewing on Tuesday, you’d be done by Friday. This is why the steak, while referred to as “a” Hanger, will arrive in two sections. The Hanger comes from the inside if the rib and is actually, along with the Skirt Steak, part of the diaphragm muscle. It will have a naturally darker hue to it and well as a subtly different flavor than most beef cuts.
For years I didn’t carry the hanger because most processors will not segregate the Prime grade from the other grades, but rather lump them together in one box and… caveat emptor! Once we were able to procure just the Prime ones we were back in action and the Butcher steak was home once again.
On the Grill:
1” to 1½“ – 10 to 12 minutes total. Grilling is the best option for the Hanger, this is a cut that is has enough inherent tenderness and moisture that you can even end up overcooking it slightly and still have a good steak.