Sure, you could celebrate Labor Day weekend by throwing some plain Jane burgers on the grill, but why not mark the end of the summer with something truly special? Hanger steak, blue cheese and caramelized onions are a sensational combination. Once known as the butcher’s tenderloin, hanger steak has a deep, rich flavor that holds its own alongside tart blue cheese and sweet onions. Just remember that this cut tastes best served medium-rare and definitely not past medium.
Hanger Steak Sliders with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions
For the marinade:
1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) balsamic vinegar
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. yellow or brown mustard seeds
2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the sliders:
4 hanger steaks, each about 6 oz. (180 g)
Canola oil for brushing
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
12 slider rolls, split
1/4 lb. (125 g) blue cheese, crumbled
To make the marinade, in a small bowl, stir together the tamari, oil, vinegar, garlic, mustards, mustard seeds, ginger, 1 tsp. pepper and a pinch of salt.
Place the hanger steaks in a large sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, turn to coat the meat with the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
At least 30 minutes before you are ready to begin grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Discard the marinade and pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Brush the steaks with the oil
Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.
In a sauté pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook slowly, stirring often, until they are tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm. (If necessary, reheat just before serving.)
Place the steaks on the grill directly over the fire and cook, turning once, until nicely charred on both sides and barely firm to the touch, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare or 6 minutes per side for medium.
Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the rolls, cut side down, on the edge of the grill to toast for about 1 minute
Thinly slice the steaks against the grain, capturing any released juices. Toss the sliced meat and juices together in a bowl. Divide the meat and juices evenly among the roll bottoms. Top with the cheese and then with the onions, dividing them both evenly. Top with the roll tops and serve immediately. Serves 6.
For this and many other recipes that will get you fired up about cooking outdoors, check out Grill Master, by Fred Thompson.