Hangar Steak and Figs on the Grill

Figs on the grill

Eileen and Betsy are back!  Busily grilling their way through French Grill, they’ve just sent this new missive!!


“So we had last Saturday night set aside to do something simple for four people…we ended up with nine.  Word travels when we get out our French Grill cookbooks.  It’s like Catholics flocking to Lourdes for the cure.

Hangar steak with French horseradish sauce
Hangar Steak with Horseradish Sauce

Hanger Steak with Horseradish Sauce (pg. 132)

This recipe is actually quite simple, but there are two daunting elements 1. Stuffing the steak is messy, but really fun once you get into it.  2.  Tying the string is, as you predicted ,a little intimidating.  But we took on the challenge and were able to do the professional butcher half-hitch  which left us feeling very accomplished. And we discovered something else – how great this dish is because you can do all of it before guests arrive, and have the neat little steak packages on a platter ready to go out to the grill.  It all looked so impressive!

And it turned out really gorgeous once off the grill,  as creamy and buttery as any steak we have ever had.

Turkish Kebab Sauce (pg. 275)

This sauce, which is really the base for the horseradish sauce above, is another of your winners Susan.  It can never compare to the perfect Romesco, but it is a close second.  We followed your recipe exactly and it was divine.  Everyone likes their own level of spiciness and so – even though it was fabulous as is we will do as you suggest and kick up the spice factor next time.  This sauce is definitely a good staple to have on hand to smear on burgers, or even serve with grilled vegetables.

figs on the grill
Figs just off the grill, chocolate sauce

Figs and Chocolate (pg. 232)

We saw the last of the autumn figs and so decided to do this for dessert because we wouldn’t have another shot for ten more months!  It didn’t hurt that the figs were sublime.  This was also a snap – took two minutes.  A bonus of having two people doing the cooking is that one of us grilled the figs while the other made the chocolate sauce. Fastest and most impressive looking dessert on the planet.  Oh!  And the squeeze of lime is the perfect finish.

So far Rag hasn’t given us a sideways thumb.  Three more winners!

Onglet, or hanger steak, is a very special cut of beef, highly regarded here because of its flavor and tender, slightly elastic texture. It is considered an organ meat, in part because it is so perishable, and it requires quick, brief grilling so that the exterior is deep golden and almost crisp, and the interior is juicy and red. The horseradish is a spicy counterpoint, and altogether it goes perfectly with a rich yet smooth Bordeaux Supérieure, such as a Chateau Panchille. ASTUCE: hangar steak is best served rare because it stays tender that way but as always, this depends on your taste. Also, the weight called for is hangar steak trimmed of any nerve tissue (most likely the way you will purchase it). I cut the hangar steak in half, lengthwise, because I find it much easier to handle than one long, narrow steak. Finally, don’t let the instructions for tying the hangar steak intimidate you – just cut pieces of string, slip them under the steak and tie a bow if you have to, or a quick little knot. Simple. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: kitchen twine, tongs, cutting board PREPARATION AND GRILLING TIME: 25-30 minutes, if preparing the White Sauce, and depending on how rare you like your steak; 10 minutes maximum if the White Sauce is already prepared. DIFFICULTY LEVEL: moderate
Servings: 4 servings
  • 1 pound (500g) generous hanger steak at room temperature,
  • 1/2 recipe for White Kebab Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (55ml) generous horseradish
  • 2/3 cup (6 generous g) flat leaf parsley leaves
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flat leaf parsley leaves – for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper – for garnish
  • Fleur de sel – for garnish
  1. Cut the hangar steak in half, crosswise. Cut along the length of each piece but not all the way through, and open each piece like a book.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the White Kebab Sauce and the horseradish. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Mince the parsley.
  4. Spread 1 generous tablespoon of the sauce on one side of the partially cut surfaces of the hangar steak. Sprinkle with half the minced parsley. “Close” the steak and tie the pieces closed in 4 or 5 places. Rub the roasts all over with the olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat all three burners of the gas grill, or build a medium-sized fire in the barbecue. When the coals are red and dusted with ash, spread them in a tight, single layer leaving a perimeter of grill with no coals under it; they need to emit concentrated heat. Set the grill over the coals.
  6. When the grill is very hot, set the roasts on it right over the coals. Close the grill and cook until the steak is brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn it to the other side and, keeping the grill open, grill it until the steak is golden on the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes. At this point, the steak is quite rare and just the way most people in France eat it. If you prefer your steak more cooked – say , medium – then turn it again and cook it for 2 minutes, and again for 2 additional minutes, for a total of 9 minutes. Remove from the grill and let the steaks sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the strings from the steaks, and cut them into thick slices. Divide the slices among 4 to 6 plates (4 servings are generous; 6 are slight).
  8. Transfer the steak from the grill to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes. It will stay hot, don’t worry.
  9. Place about 2 tablespoons of the horseradish sauce in the center of 6 warmed dinner plates, and spread it into a small, thick round. Lay the slices atop the sauce, garnish with parsley sprigs. Grind a little mound of black pepper alongside each serving, and place a little mound of fleur de sel alongside each serving. Serve immediately.
ASTUCE: I suggest toasting cumin seed in a small skillet on the grill, alongside your burgers or other foods that are grilling, then grinding them in a spice grinder, or in a mortar and pestle. Also, if you want your sauce more spicy, you know what to do (hint: add more spices!). SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: small, heavy skillet and spice grinder, whisk PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple
Servings: 1 cup
  • 1 cup (250ml) Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (see recipe
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed juice
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup (to give ¼ cup when minced) bunch chives
  • teaspoon ½toasted cumin finely ground, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Piment d’Espelette or a blend of mild and hot paprika or to taste
  1. Place the yogurt and the mayonnaise in a medium-sized bowl and whisk them together. Whisk in the lemon juice, shallot, and the garlic.
  2. Mince the chives and whisk them into the sauce, along with the cumin and piment d’Espelette or paprika.
  3. Season to taste with salt, and add additional lemon juice and/or spices, to your taste. This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

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