Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Hanger steak with roasted potatoes, gremolata and pickled red onions

Hanger is Becky Reams' favorite cut of steak. Years ago, it was known as the "butcher's cut" because only butchers knew its true value in both flavor and tenderness. Here, Reams sears it in a cast iron skillet and serves it with potatoes, a bright garlic herb sauce and tangy pickled onions.

Chef Becky Reams

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Pickled onions
2 red onions
1 red beet
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Salt, to taste

Hanger steak
2 to 2 1/2 lb. steak, approximately 2 large hanger steaks
Kosher and flaky sea salt, to taste
1 lb. baby or new potatoes, any variety
Olive oil, to taste
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon


Cut onions into thin slices and place in a large pickling jar or storage container. Cut beet into quarters and set aside. Heat a medium saucepan over high heat and add vinegars, sugar, 2 of the beet wedges (save the remaining wedges for another use) and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then pour over onions. If liquid doesn't completely cover onions, add enough ice to bring liquid surface level up. Press beet wedges down into onions to help create a bright red color. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Onions will keep for a month in the refrigerator.

Season steaks well on all sides with kosher salt and set aside. (You can season the steaks hours before cooking. It helps to better season the meat.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve potatoes, toss on a sheet tray with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Meanwhile, to make gremolata, finely mince parsley on a cutting board, then finely mince garlic directly into parsley, mixing it as you chop. Zest lemon into mixture and mix together.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, before cooking steaks. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan and immediately add steaks. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes on all sides, until deeply caramelized and a crisp crust develops. Total cooking time for medium rare is 12 to 14 minutes. You can lower the heat and cook longer if you prefer. When steak is cooked to your liking, let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

To serve, slice steak on a bias into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss hot potatoes in a bowl with a couple spoonfuls of gremolata. Arrange potatoes on plates and top with steak slices. Sprinkle more gremolata over steak as desired, plus some flaky sea salt. Arrange a spoonful of pickled onions on the side.

Serves 4

Photo: © 2020 Becky Reams

Kitchen hack: Brightening pickled red onions
"I always add a few slices of raw red beet to enhance that bright red, almost purple, color in the onions. Beets naturally have such a potent color to their juices that it imparts a wonderful color on the pickling liquid without adding much flavor."

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