How To: Trim and Butterfly a Hanger Steak

Hanger Steaks are one of my favorite cuts of beef.  Their texture is similar to Skirt steaks but their flavor is far more complex.

Both Hanger and Skirt steaks are cut from the cow’s diaphragm. Skirt steaks are cut directly from the plate portion. Hanger steaks are cut from the muscle that literally hangs between the ribs and the loin. It sole purpose is to support the diaphragm and the kidneys which are found nearby.

Hanger steaks tend to be thicker than skirt steaks but they have a large connective membrane that runs down the center. This membrane is unappealing and considered inedible. It is strongly suggested you remove it before preparing the steak.

To do so, lay the Hanger on a flat cutting surface. Make an incision along each side of the membrane with a sharp knife.

The cuts should be as close to the membrane as possible and penetrate completely through the entire thickness of the meat. 

This will free each side of the steak. The unwanted membrane can now be discarded. It has no other practical use.

Both sides of meat can be butterflied once the membrane is removed. This will ensure a uniform thickness and a relatively short cook time.

The cut to butterfly each section begins on the side of meat that was once connected to the membrane. The blade of the knife should divide the Steak’s thickness in half and travel parallel to the cutting surface until the entire length of meat has been sliced. 

The cut should penetrate about three-quarters of the way through the steaks’ width without cutting entirely through.

Note: Cutting entirely through the width of the meat will result in two thin strips instead of a single larger one.

Once the cut is finished, the steak can be opened up and laid flat. They are the perfect choice for broiling, pan searing, or grilling since the required cooking time is short.

 

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4 Comments on “How To: Trim and Butterfly a Hanger Steak”

  1. philohio
    March 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Thank you.
    That’s the way it came from the butcher, but didn’t look like a flat iron. I figured I’d have to cut out that junk of fat in the center out. I’ll be doing that later, then into the cast iron skillet.
    Rare!

  2. philohio
    March 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    Looks like it was cut from the chuck.
    By the time I fought through the gristle with a just sharpened knife, I didn’t want to bother cooking it.
    I’ll try one piece then might have soup from a can.

  3. David
    June 20, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    Thank you for this tip…I was about to bbq it whole…that membrane was nasty 🙂

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