Hanger steak is often referred to as “butcher’s steak”. In the past, butchers used to keep this flavorful cut for themselves, a kind of “insider’s treat”. Also known as onglet, it is highly flavorful and economical, and one of our house favorites along with flank steaks. You don’t find this tasty cut of beef that often at Manila groceries or upscale delis, but I got this onglet from S & L Fine foods a couple of weeks ago, along with the flank steak I recently featured. I need to get a few more kilos soon and store them in the deep freeze for those days when we have a hankering for beef…
We usually grill up some beef and hit it with some steak sauce for a quick fix, but this time around, I was intrigued with the Argentinian way of serving beef with chimichurri sauce. So I searched around for recipes and ended up making this version of chimichurri, with some chopped tomatoes to add volume, texture and flavor. I chopped up a large bunch of Italian parsley, half as much mint and coriander or cilantro and placed that in a bowl. Minced several cloves of peeled garlic and a touch of red onion. Added a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar, twice as much olive oil, a dash of cumin and several pinches of salt and some cracked black pepper. Mix this well and set aside while you grill or cook your beef.
We just salted and grilled the onglet for several minutes on each side until done rare, then let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve on a pre-heated platter and with the chimichurri sauce on the side. The pairing was wonderful — really, really tasty and appealing. The acidity from the vinegar is tempered by the richness of the olive oil and the fragrance of and flavor of all those chopped herbs. The garlic can be overwhelming, but for some, that’s exactly what they are looking for. I am surprised we haven’t done this at home before… definitely a nice alternative to steak sauce that we generally rely on when we are in a hurry. No wonder this classic Argentinian pairing between slightly tougher but very flavorful meat and a sauce with serious flavor and punch is a classic… it’s terrific!
P.S. I went on to pair this chimichurri sauce with a large zubuchorizo in bread, for a classic “choripan” apparently very common as a quick snack/street food in Argentina, and it was a smash hit! We may introduce this “zubuchoripan” at our Mactan airport outlet in a couple of weeks… :)