Wednesday was Paul’s birthday! And that means an extra special meal…or week of meals…but to start out we have hanger steak, potato pancakes, and asparagus. This actually came out of nowhere because Paul had to go to rehearsal (check out Their Planes Will Block Out The Sun), but sometimes when you don’t have time to think is when you create the best product. I’m happy to say this was one of those instances. Flying by the seat of my pants, with an hour to create a birthday worthy meal I ended up with the following:
1 russet potato – shredded using a box grater or food processor
1 sweet onion – shredded using a box grater or food processor
Heat the oven to 400’F. In a bowl combine the shredded onion and potato. Dump the veg onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Press to the edges and out until it is very thin – about an 1/8 inch. Generously drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
To save myself some dishes I left room for my asparagus.
Cut the butt end off one bunch of asparagus and spread on the cookie sheet in as close to one layer as you have room for. Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Stick the tray in the oven with the potatoes towards the back and the asparagus towards the door. Bake for about 35 minutes – keep an eye on it towards the end so that the asparagus doesn’t burn. You’re ready to go when the potatoes are golden brown and crispy along the edges.
I doubt these are actually better for you than traditional fried potato pancakes, but they are just as tasty and a lot easier!
Grilled Hanger Steak with Herb Butter:
1 good sized hanger steak – not too thick with no visible grizzle
extremely hot grill or griddle pan
There is not a lot involved in making a great steak. One is the obvious, start with good meat. Two is don’t get complicated. When I have a good steak I want to be able to taste the meat not a bunch of seasoning – save the spices for cheaper meats that need the help! Just a good sprinkling of coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper, that’s all you need.
Three, cook hot and fast. Four, meat should be medium rare.
This time I used my indoor griddle pan. Put it on the burner over high heat and let it go for at least five minutes – stand back and flick a drop of water on the griddle, if it pops and starts freaking out then it’s ready for your meat.
Place the “prettier” side down first and weight it down (bacon press, clean bottom cast iron, foil wrapped brick, etc…). My weight didn’t cover the whole thing so I moved it over after about 4 minutes. Allow the steak to cook for about 8 minutes total – when you flip it there should be a beautiful deep grill marks and the steak should be nicely browned not grey. Once flipped reapply your weight and let it go for another ten minutes (again adjusting your weight halfway through if it doesn’t cover the whole thing)
As always, once the meat is cooked so that the bottom develops a nice crust, let it rest for at least five minutes. Slice against the grain so that it stays together, stack on top of a slice of potato pancake, then dollop with a nice amount of Herb Butter.
Time to gorge.
I have a very happy man on my hands and more feeding to to this weekend – Sunday is Paul’s BBQ Burger Bar Birthday Bash. More meat to come!