This recipe combines flavors from two of our all-time favorite restaurants: Benihana in Short Hills, New Jersey, and Le Recamier in Paris. While hanger steak is just starting to really gain a cult following here, it’s always had a place on menus across Europe as an affordable, meaty, flavorful cut of beef. In France, seared onglet is usually slathered in buttery, brown, slow-cooked shallots and hidden beneath a jumble of slender, crisp, perfectly salted fries. To mess with this combination of flavors and textures would be considered a heinous act across the Atlantic. But in the States we have more flexibility with the garnishes. That’s where Benihana fits in. When we went to Benihana as kids, we always ordered zucchini and onions, which we loved to watch the chefs prepare tableside at super-fast speed. In our version we use mushrooms in place of the zucchini. Combined with the lightly browned onions, they bring back happy Benihana memories.–Bruce and Eric Bromberg
LC You Say Hanger, We Say Onglet Note
What is a hanger cut of steak, you ask? It’s a cut that comes from the diaphragm of the cow, situated near the flank and the skirt steaks. Rumor has it the hanger was once dubbed butcher steak because butchers used to keep it for themselves. (Heck, we’d do the same.) As with flank and skirt, hanger steak works swell with marinades and a quick turn in a hot, hot, hot skillet. Wanna sound like you know French? You can call it onglet, but chances are people will just look at you funny since most bistros simply serve it under the generic heading “steak frites.”
Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until just barely tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and cool. Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks.
Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes to the hot skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown all over and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat but keep the potatoes in the skillet. Toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm, or transfer the potatoes to a platter and tent with foil.
Make the mushrooms and onions
Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they are browned and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley, if using. Cover to keep warm.
Cook the steak
Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very, very, very hot, at least 5 solid minutes. Sprinkle the steaks with the salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear the steaks in the skillet until well browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to the oven and roast until the desired doneness, about 3 minutes more for rare (115°F or 46°C on an instant-read thermometer) and 5 minutes more for medium-rare (120°F or 49°C on an instant-read thermometer).
Transfer the steaks to serving plates, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 3 minutes before serving with the potatoes, mushrooms, and onions.