Two great hanger steak marinades

But first…

Maine’s “word of the week:” FETCH

I’ve heard “fetch” used in so many different ways here in Maine I thought it was time to offer the ultimate definitive rundown of its many uses. No other place I’ve been in the U.S. gives this word so much colorful and varied free rein. Here we go:

  • RETRIEVE: “My dog’s better at pointing than fetching.”
  • HARD LANDING (with “up’): One roofer to another: “It’s not the falling that will get you, it’s the fetching up.”
  • AIM, HEAD: “Where you bound?” “We’re fetching for Boothbay.”
  • GOOD CATCH, PRIZE: “That pretty lady (or that handsome guy) would be a fine fetch.”
  • ATTRACTIVE, APPEALING: “That young lady’s awful fetching, I’d say.”
  • LEAVE, DEPART: “We’re fetching out of Machias tomorrow.”
  • ARRIVE AT: “We fetched Halifax just in time for cocktails.”
  • YIELD, ACHIEVE (as a price): “That Belted Galloway should fetch about two thousand, I’d say.”
  • GATHER, ACQUIRE: “He fetched just enough votes to make the school board.”
  • TRAVELING DISTANCE: “Machias to Halifax is a pretty long fetch.”
  • EMIT, GIVE OUT: “When she heard the sad news, she fetched out a long sigh.”

I think people here should use it any way they want, and invent ever new uses for it, considering the richness of its history here, and just the way it sounds in a sentence. It’s got a good ring to it.

Two fine hanger steak marinades

Dining19_french blue-0670-L(photo © John Storey)

A few weeks back I wrote about this amazing cut of beef that many people aren’t aware of – largely because supermarkets (as a rule) don’t carry it. But so far I’ve discovered three places in the Midcoast that sell it (and I’m sure there are more): Wiggins Meat Market in Rockland, Curtis Custom Meats in Warren, and French and Brawn in the heart of Camden.

BeefCutPlate copy

The steak is part of the diaphragm muscle under the cow’s foremost stomach – the plate area of the cow – and gets its name from appearing to “hang” loose from the plate during butchering. It’s also sometimes called bistro steak or butcher’s cut (because many butchers like to fetch it for themselves!).

There are two requirements for great success with hanger steaks: a terrific marinade, and exactly the right kind of cooking – very hot and very brief!

We had it a short while back – about two pounds of it in six separate strips – and made two separate marinades. Different as they were, they were both hugely fetching and delicious. Here you go –

Marinade 1: Dijon Divinity

For one hanger steak – 3 strips – about 1.5 lbs. – to serve two people:

  • 2 tbsps. Dijon mustard (yes, tablespoons)
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • about 2 tbsps. rosemary
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • about 1 tbsp. lemon zest

Combine everything and smear it over the steaks. Fetch them into a zip loc bag, massage the marinade through the steaks, and refrigerate overnight (if you’re in a hurry, 3-4 hours of marinating should be enough).

Marinade 2: Ginger-cilantro sensation!

Again, for about 1.5 lbs of steak. Lots of ingredients here, but sooo delicious!

  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsps. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsps. hot pepper paste or 1 tbsp. harissa sauce
  • 2 tbsps. grated ginger
  • 2 tsps. soy sauce
  • 2 tsps. toasted sesame oil or Mongolian fire oil
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced or pressed
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Combine, smear, bag everything up, massage through the steaks, and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours. (Note that both these recipes were adapted/modified from online sources – whatever most appealed to us.)

Grill ’em!

Some recipes say you can pan sear these steaks, but nothing beats grilling. First, oil your grill grate with Canola or olive oil. Then fire it up, get the grill super hot, fetch on the steaks, and cook about one minute a side. Fetch the steaks off, let sit for 2-3 minutes, then carve “on the bias.” Hanger steaks have a very obvious grain running diagonally lengthwise, and you want to cut across this grain at about a 70 degree angle.

Serve them neatly lined up on a platter by themselves… have a salad and some French bread on the side.


There you have it. Coming up in a few weeks: an expanded “backpack program” is in the works for Knox County, to help feed hungry schoolkids.



Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.