Knowledge - News

Flannery News

How to Trim a Hanger Steak

We made this video a while back, and I’ve been paying off our web guys to keep it from ever seeing the light of day since then. My butcher skills far exceed my acting skills… in short, I’m a doofus with a sharp knife. Lately however, I have come across several articles on hanger steaks, and was amazed at how the removal of the nerve was butchered (and I don’t mean that in a good sense). In this video I demonstrate how to trim a hanger steak, but my good intentions turned into a new nickname of “Slap-Happy Bryan”. Watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.

A little history on the hanger steak; Way back when, these were called a “butcher’s steak” because there was such little demand for them and we always take home for dinner what we don’t sell. The cut started to gain traction when more people discovered how tender and versatile they were and presently they enjoy a good bit of limelight as ‘bistro-style’ steaks in restaurants.

Hanger steaks are part of the diaphragm muscle, but what makes them so tender is that the giant nerve running right down the middle does all the heavy lifting. The actual hanger steak, or “hanging tender” just goes along for the ride. Having said that, if you leave that nerve in when you cook it, start chewing on Tuesday, you’ll be done on Thursday.

About 4 years ago I was flipping through a food magazine and saw an article on Hanger Steaks. I wasn’t surprised to see it featured, but what caught my eye was the chef’s statement “the only drawback to the Hanger is that it could be a little chewy.” What the hell? I take a close look at the photo, and sure enough, in the middle of each slice was the nerve… Recently, I was reading yet another article on hanger steaks, and while the instructions to remove the nerve were there, the author suggested cutting on either side of the nerve to remove it. While this would get the job done, it also wastes a great amount of meat.

I never imagined that Hangers would be sold with the nerve left in, so for any of you who happen to run across this locally, use this video as a guide on how to trim, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck. For any chefs out there this trick will reduce your trim loss, and give you an extra 15-20% on your margin.



Father's Day Conspiracy

To play our part in the upcoming Father's Day event, I'm introducing three new products (Porterhouse, Filet Steak, and Filet Roast) that retain a heavy amount of outer suet, a magical fat that melts when cooked and brings a level of flavor you've only dreamed about to the table. And in doing so, I wondered why all the fathers out there weren't already clamoring for such a thing. 

In my extensive research into this mis-alignment of the gastronomic planets, I've made some breakthroughs. Consider the following: 

Both "fat" and "father" begin with the same 3 letters, "f-a-t". Obviously there is a bond there, so then why the aversion to fat? The answer to that lies in the last 3 letters of "father"... "HER". She's the one standing between a father and his fat! 

Dads of the world, unite! Have your fat! Put your foot down, this is your day! What better way to celebrate than to reconnect with that subconscious primordial call of the fat? 


PS: if this action causes any strife in the homestead, the 4th of july is right around the corner and you can win her back with a nice gift. If I might offer a sure winner suggestion, something personalized with her name on it, like a set of our custom burgers (can't hurt!)

Holiday Greetings from the Flannery Beef Blog Headquarters!

It's been a helluva of year for us, and we've got our customers and fans to thank for it. We've spent much of the year aging, cutting, and trimming some of the best darn beef in the country, though it's kept us off our computers. On the other hand, this is a good thing - have you ever seen what ground beef can do to a keyboard?

Now one of the downsides to keeping our noses to the grindstone, (or grinder, in our case) is that we're always the last to know how much people like us - regardless of the fact that we're horrible at answering the phone. We've managed to attract a bit of attention in the media this year, and we want to share it here so that at least it looks like we're on top of things.

From the Wall Street Journal

Culinary Cult Objects: Worth the Price? by Josh Ozersky, August 29, 2014

A5 Wagyu Beef vs. Flannery 'California Reserve’ Beef - F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal.

THE "ULTIMATE" // A5 Wagyu Beef From Japan:
The highest class of Japanese beef is so richly marbled that it demands to be eaten like sushi. Miyazaki Wagyu Strip Steak, $105 for one 12-ounce steak from

THE CHALLENGER // Flannery "California Reserve" Beef:
The California Reserve steaks I've gotten from Bryan Flannery have had nearly the same degree of marbling as their Japanese counterparts, and a far greater flavor. New York Strip Steak, $42 for 12 ounces,

Flannery's beef is tastier because the cows' diet is more complex and wholesome. Mr. Flannery brings a couple of generations' worth of expertise to the job. His farmers deserve our support.”...

From the San Francisco Chronicle

Trevor Kunk lays out bountiful menu for 1st California Christmas. By Tara Duggan, December 12, 2014

..."The tri-tip recipe is partly an homage to Flannery Beef, Press’ main meat supplier and one of the reasons Kunk was drawn to work at the restaurant. (A version will be on the Press menu in late January.)” …


Meadowood’s 12 Days: Joshua McFadden

"6th Course: Côte de Boeuf Flannery dry-aged ribeye, with Amish butter, matsutake and potatoes à la grecque, grits, pesto of garden trimmings. (Joshua McFadden & The Restaurant at Meadowood)"

Lastly,  if you get a chance to see us in Esquire Networks new show called "The Getaway”. They filmed an episode in Napa Valley, and featured PRESS and our friend Trevor Kunk.

Boneless Shortribs Recipe

Perfect Cold Weather Shortrib Recipe

Season roughly 2lbs of Boneless Shortibs liberally with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and allow them to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or two. 


Heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a 5 qt. dutch oven and sear the ribs well on all sides.  Set aside.  

Pour off the excess oil from the pot and add:

1 750 bottle of dark belgian ale such as Unibroue Trois Pistoles

1 Tbsp fresh ground coffee

1 Tbsp dehydrated chopped onion

1 Tbsp Ancho Chile powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 pt beef or dark chicken stock

Bring the above to a simmer and return the ribs to the pan.  Continue to simmer on the stovetop or move to a 300°F oven for 2½ to 3 hours until the shortribs are very tender.


Carefully remove the ribs and reduce the cooking liquid by half.  Serve the ribs and sauce over your favorite side dish.

Valentine's Day Dinner

With February 14th just around the corner, here are some of our favorite options for a romantic dinner, along with some quick cooking tips to keep the lovebirds in the kitchen. 

Porterhouse for Two

porterWithout a doubt the perfect sharing steak, but while bringing some fun to the table as well. Cut from the short loin, it contains both a Filet Mignon and a New York Strip steak, joined by a bone. Hearty, dramatic and versatile, a Porterhouse steak offers an experience in exploration of texture and flavor. 

Cooking Tips: Sear both sides of the steak, then transfer to a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes. Using a cast iron skillet to sear will give a more dramatic crust to the finished product, but a Teflon pan works well too (and if you’re a guy, it’s easy to clean!). A neat trick for serving is to use a thin knife to scribe each side of the bone and cut each piece off, then slice into 1.5” thick portions and reassemble on the bone. 


Filet Mignon

The gold girl standard in tenderness, Filets are a great option for special occasions (and if you put two side by side and squint your eyes it almost looks like a heart… according to Bryan). For those who like to cook, the relatively small portion size of the filet allows room for plenty of other side dishes.

Cooking Tips: Heat a pan to medium-high with a little oil (you want it hot, but not ‘sear’ hot), then cook the filet(s) for 6-8 minutes on the first side, then finish with 2-3 minutes on the second side. If you’re worried about too much smoke in the kitchen, try using grape seed oil instead of olive oil. 


Jorge"Jorge" Ribsteak
 For the true ‘steak lovers’ out there, the “Jorge” Ribsteak is the ultimate in great beefy flavor. For anyone who wants to surprise their sweetie with a giant hunk of meat, this is the way to go!

Cooking Tips: The Jorge will have a similar cooking method to the Porterhouse steak – sear first on the stovetop, then finish in a 350 degree oven for roughly 25 minutes. To serve, slice the meat on the bone. Start at the opposite side of the bone, keeping your cuts parallel to the bone. Eventually you’ll have to scribe along the bone, but you’ll have cut the majority of the steak before that. 


Rack of Lamb

Another great option for Valentine’s Day, a classic rack of lamb is a relatively easy dish to prepare that never fails to impress. Throw the rack in the oven, toss together a quick salad along with some crusty bread, and voila! The perfect romantic dinner.

Cooking Tips: Place the rack in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, it’s that easy. This cut can also be a great opportunity for experimentation – a mustard/herb coating will give restaurant worthy results at your home dining table. When carving, keep in mind that this is a slight curve to the bones, so you won’t want to slice directly down between the chops. Slice with a small ‘arc’ motion to follow the natural contours of the bone, and make serving a breeze.

Disappearing Act

For my next trick, we will dry age our prime hanger steaks. As much as I would like to say this came to me in a dream, it actually came to me in an oversight. One whole hanger inadvertently was left out on the aging shelves and was out of sight, which allowed it to work its own little magic behind my back. When discovered, it was a sight for sore eyes. Actually, it was a sight to make your eyes sore. At first I thought we had somehow created a new life form, but upon further investigation and some serious trimming with a 12” knife, found a completely new version of the hanger steak beneath all that camouflage. The flavor actually intensified in a smooth way and the texture changed from merely tender to velvety; and so in the footsteps of the classic deep thinkers, I decided “what the hell!” 


Aging times from left to right: 3 days, 10 days, 17 days

Now, normal hanger steaks will weigh between 1.5-2lbs each when trimmed of facia and center nerve; these dry aged hangers will come in somewhere between 1-1.5lb due to the reduced moisture and additional trim required to find the damn thing under all that age.

Here’s the catch: we’re only doing 100 of these beauties, and they won’t be ready to ship until the week of the 17th.  Thanks to my big mouth, the list is already starting to fill up, so get your order in before they’re all gone!

Dry Aged Hanger Product Page

Aging Beef

In the meat industry, aging is the time lapsed between the processing of the animal and the point at which the meat is consumed. Put quite simply, aging is a controlled decay process. Natural enzymes will break down the bonds within the muscle to create a more tender end product. There are two types of aging, dry aging and wet aging, and both employ very different methods during the aging process.

Wet Aging
This type of aging is a relatively recent development. In modern beef production the items (called “primals”) are sent to the wholesaler, restaurant, or retailer in sealed plastic bags. The process of wet aging is to simply leave the product in the bags for a specified amount of time; proponents of wet aging claim that during this time natural enzymes break down the muscle, resulting in a more tender product.  In our eyes, we see two outcomes of wet aging. Firstly, if the original packaging is damaged and begins to allow air into the bag, the natural gases created by the enzymes that break down the meat will become trapped in the bag and quickly impart a sour odor and taste to the product. These gases are a natural byproduct of the enzymes, but when not allowed to ventilate properly can ruin the meat. The second outcome would be if the packaging retains its tight seal, which would slow down the enzymes because it would limit the air they are able to interact with. Remember these enzymes need air to survive; a complete lack of air is almost like being frozen to a degree. Sure, you’ll get a bit of action, but you’re limiting the full capability of the enzymes to really break down the meat. 

Dry Aging
In dry aging, the traditional method and the only one that we at Flannery Beef believe in, the beef is fully exposed to the air during a predetermined period of time. To achieve this, the primals are removed from their plastic cases upon arrival and placed on aging racks, which allow an almost complete 360 degree airflow around each piece. During the aging process, which can last from as short as 7 days to as long as 60 days (although we’ve had customers request us to go all the way out to 75 days), the ambient air of the aging room acts as an accelerant - the outer edges of the beef will visually darken, and will in effect protect the inner portion of the piece from this rapid decay. This allows enzymes to break down the muscle in the inner part of the piece without giving it the dramatically aged look that the outside of the piece ends up with.

Years ago, beef was aged in whole quarters, which allowed the various cuts to be protected from direct exposure to the air by either the bone or the fat on the external covering. But the industry has changed to the point where the quarters are cut into the primals that end up exposing more of the product to the air. This has changed the way most butchers age meat, because as a result of the higher loss of product weight through shrinkage and trimming, dry aged beef became too cost prohibitive for many butchers to produce.

In order to deliver steaks with a true “melt in your mouth” quality, there is absolutely no substitute for dry aging. Flannery Beef has perfected the aging process over three decades of commitment to this very idea, and is proud to be one of the few establishments still providing top-quality dry aged beef.


1. Wet Aging. A couple of ribs (primals) in the original packaging; this is exactly how they arrive to us. This is an image of what Wet Aging is, simply keeping the product in the cryovac packages.



2. Dry Aged: these are shortloins that been been exposed to the air for about 3 weeks; it’s at about this stage that mold begins to develop on the outer surfaces. This is why there is so much waste with Dry Aging; so much of the outer surfaces must be removed to get the final product. 


3. Dry Aged: same type of primal as #2, but with only 2 weeks of age. 


4. A true 40 Day Dry Aged Striploin. 


5. Prime Ribs at the beginning of the aging process; have just been removed from packaging. 


We be Hip

With the launch of this new site, we decided to expand even further and begin blogging. But we’ve always admitted we’re better at beef than we are at technology, so we had to look up exactly what a blog is. Since we’re late to the game, we skipped the traditional Merriam Webster Dictionary and went straight to Urban Dictionary, where we found the following definition: “a meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life.”

Shazam – we were all of the above way before our time!!

Obviously we’re dating ourselves here, so it makes sense that our first post will be about, you guessed it, age. But in the interest of keeping it relevant, we’re only going to post something when the odds are it is meandering, blatantly uninteresting, and borderline stupid. But we need friends. Next we’re going to figure out how to get you to ‘like’ us on Facebook.