Who’s got my hanger steak?

Come On, Martha, London Broil

Once a month, I browse the menus section of marthastewart.com for the latest trends in American WASP fare, which frequently involve anglicizing up a European, Asian, or South American dish based on an uncommon cut of meat. So I should have braced myself for disappointment before heading out with Billy the Kid to pick up the ingredients for her French Hanger Steak with Shallots. Now, BK loves a trip to Hannaford. He inspects the apples and pumpkins if in season, checks the swing-back on the frozen foods doors, and enjoys trapping an unsuspecting bagger into a game of “hiya.” However, after two Hannafords and a Market Basket in search of the elusive steer diaphragm, we were both cranky and in need of a doughnut. Alas, these are not Butcher Boy times. So, I used a London broil instead, and since I have no idea what hanger steak tastes like, nor its formerly conjoined twin, the skirt steak, I didn’t miss the aromatic “trace of kidney” reported by admiring butchers. Both Mr. P and I agreed that this is even better than Spot-on London Broil, but then again, we’ve had that a lot lately; it’s a cheap cut and I’m strictly pro bono at present.

1 London broil
1/4 C olive oil
2 tbsp butter (come on, Martha, you want me to sauté shallots in oil?)
1/4 C cooking sherry
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 shallots, quartered
salt and pepper

Whisk together the oil, sherry, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Marinate the meat for 2 hours, sealed at room temperature.

Set the highest rack to allow for two inches between the meat and the flame, and turn the broiler onto high. Transfer the steak to a wire rack over a roasting pan or a broiler pan. Broil for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on thickness), turn with tongs, broil another 7 to 10, and the internal temperature should be just under 140. Take it out of the oven (is that condescending?) and let it stand on the rack for 5 minutes before slicing it into thin strips parallel to that infernal diagonal fat ribbon.

While the oven does its job, heat the butter in a skillet over medium and when it stops foaming, add the shallots. Separate the layers as they soften, and cook them until they caramelize, then turn the heat down to warm until the steak is done. We had no problem polishing off all the shallots with a modest steak, so don’t hold back while piling them on.

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