Le Mauzac’s Hanger Steak
Le Mauzac is a lively lunchtime café/wine bar tucked along a romantic tree-lined street in the busy Latin Quarter. Their onglet—flank, or hanger, steak—is one of the best I’ve ever sampled. Following tradition, the quickly pan-seared meat is served with a mound of golden, delicious French fried potatoes. Although restaurants do not usually offer lemon with steak, I prefer it this way and always ask for a few wedges to squeeze over the beef. Note that in cooking the meat, I do not salt it in the beginning—only at the end. I feel that salting in the beginning draws out too many of the delicious juices we want to save. But salt at the end helps give the meat a fine, seasoned flavor.
ONGLET, A BISTRO STAR:
ONGLET–FLANK, OR HANGER, STEAK–is one of the stars of bistro cooking. It’s tender, beefy, and needs nothing more than salt, pepper, and a touch of lemon juice to bring out its succulent brilliance. Always cooked to medium-rare (rare is too chewy), this thin, narrow, boneless cut of meat comes from what butchers call “the hanging tender” because it literally hangs down below the ribs, an extension of the tenderloin. In France it is known as la pièce du boucher, “the butcher’s piece,” because there is only one hanging tender, weighing about 3 pounds, for each steer. Since there wasn’t a lot to go around, the butcher took it home to serve to his family. The meat is prized for its chewy tenderness, silken texture, and rich meaty flavor. Butchers generally butterfly the meat, cutting it horizontally through the middle to create a large ½-inch-thick piece that’s ideal for quick pan-searing or outdoor grilling.
7, Rue De L’Abbe-De-L’Epée
TELEPHONE: 01 46 33 75 22
Métro: Rer Luxembourg
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
One Pot MealYes
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturejuicy, meaty
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds beef hanger or flank steak, butterflied, about ½ inch thick
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fine sea salt
- Lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)
Massage a little bit of the oil into the steak, and lightly season both sides with black pepper. If your skillet is not large enough to hold the steak, cut it crosswise into two pieces and cook them one at a time.
Heat a large, dry, nonstick skillet over high heat for about 1 minute. When the pan is very hot, sear the steak quickly on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes a side for medium-rare, longer for medium.
Remove the steak to a platter. Pour any pan juices over the meat. Season the meat generously with fine sea salt, and let it rest for 5 minutes (to allow the juices to retreat back into the beef). Carve the steak across the grain. Serve immediately, with a lemon wedge if desired.
An unusual wine worth sampling at Le Mauzac is a little-known Gaillac from France’s southwest: Domaine Robert Plageoles’s syrah, a young delight that goes well with the wine bar’s meaty fare.
2001 Patricia Wells