Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tamarind-Marinated Hanger Steak and Salad

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If you've never bought a hanger steak before, you should.  Last weekend we had a glimpse of Spring with a fantastic Saturday weather than begged for grilling.  I was chatting with the butcher about different cuts and decided to throw in a hanger steak in the mix.  All I can say is 1) Yummy, I was surprised with its tenderness and bold flavor, and 2) I can't keep a secret!

These come one to a cow, and back in the days, used to be what the butcher took home, also called Butcher's steak.  It's lean, flavorful, and works great for marinades.  The steak weighs between 1-2lbs, and has a thick inedible membrane that runs in the middle of it, which you have to cut out.

I think it's a great cut for Shawerma (Lebanese gyros), Fajitas, Stir-fry, etc. A definite addition in our family kitchen.



Kale and Avocado Salad

1 small bag of organic baby kale, washed
2 organic avocados, sliced
1 organic tomato, sliced
3-4 Armenian cucumbers, sliced
2 organic green onions, sliced

Mint Lemon Dressing

1/4 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ( I use Seifan, a Lebanese olive oil)
1/2 tsp organic dried mint, finely ground 
1/2 tsp + pinch sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until well blended, or place in a glass jar, close lid and shake like mad.  You can keep the leftover in the fridge for one week.

Toss your salad with the dressing, grill your steak to desired temperature, let rest for a few minutes while you're working the salad, then slice and serve.

Tamarind marinade

1/2 onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced/grated
2 tsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp vinegar
5 or 6 mastic pearls, powdered*
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 tsp cracked pepper flakes 
2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
One grass-fed Hanger Steak

Grate the onion and garlic on a microplane or pulse them in a food processor until paste.  In a bowl, mix all ingredients well to form a paste. If too thick, add a splash of water.  Place your cleaned hanger steak in and rub marinade well all over.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  You can prep this the night before, the meat will be so much more flavorful.

* To grind mastic, freeze pearls briefly, then remove and pound gently in a mortar.  The reason for freezing them is because they tend to be sticky and won't grind easily. 

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