Friday, December 30, 2011

French Bistro Steaks with Provencal Butter

I had never heard of a hanger steak before studying abroad in France.  And to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what the English translation of "onglet" was until years after my return to the US.  I guess I just wasn't a "foodie" then.  But hanger steak has become one of my favorite steaks to cook.  It's not super expensive and it has a ton of flavor.  The only problem is that it can be a bit harder to find than say flank steak or a ribeye.  But I'm willing to make the effort to search it out because it really is worth it.  This recipe was one that I found in my Ina Garten cookbook some time ago.  It was one of those recipes that kind of sits in the back of your mind for ages until one day you finally think, "gee, there was that one recipe I wanted to try..."  That day finally came for me last week when we had a hanger steak in the fridge and no plans on how to use it.  And we just happened to have all of the ingredients on hand.  Serendipity.  Actually, I had to run out and buy herbes de provence, but we were so close.

Anyway, butter and steaks go together like pb&j.  If you Google "steak" and "butter" you end up with thousands of recipes for cooking steak in butter, or serving steak with a compound butter on top.  This compound butter was an interesting variation on the garlic compound butter, or herb-filled compound butter that you usually see because it incorporated everything but the kitchen sink - garlic, anchovies, capers, herbs and lemon zest.  It was a very interesting flavor combination and it paired well with the meatiness of the hanger steak.  And, like all compound butters, it was easy to make and imparted a lot of flavor.  We served the steak with a simple arugula salad and I thought it was a really, simple nice meal.
Recipe after the jump!

French Bistro Steaks with Provencal Butter
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
By Ina Garten

1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
4 anchovy fillets, drained and roughly chopped
1 tbsp capers, drained
2 tbsp fresh chives, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
2 hanger steaks, 8-10 oz
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp herbes de Provence
kosher salt and coarsely cracked black pepper

Place garlic, anchovies, capers, chives, lemon zest and pepper in a food processor.  Pulse the machine a few times to combine.  Add butter and process briefly to combine.  Place butter mixture on a piece of parchment or wax paper and roll it into a log 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 5 inches long, twisting at the ends.  Store the butter in the refrigerator.  You will have way more butter than you need for the steak with this recipe, so you should freeze the remainder.

Drizzle steaks with 2 tsp olive oil and season (generously) with s&p.  Sprinkle each steak with 1 tsp of herbes de Provence.  Set aside at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a grill pan over moderately high heat.  Cook steaks 3-4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the steak, you might need to decrease or increase the cooking time - ours were thin so we went for 3 minutes per side), turning once, for medium-rare.  Place steak on a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  

Slice steaks crosswise diagonally and serve with compound butter on top.

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