Sunday, February 20, 2011

You be the Sommelier

One of my favorite cuts of beef is the hanger steak. The hanger steak, or hanging tender, along with the skirt steak are the muscles that make up the diaphragm of a cow. Both steaks are blood-rich and marbled with fat, and also containing connective tissue and other membranes that can be somewhat chewy if not removed. I love skirt steak too, but I prefer the hanger steak. It is thicker and beefier, and to me is the most satisfying cut in an atavistic sort of way.

The other day while browsing the meat section of my food coop I saw a Slope Farms hanger steak sitting there and pounced - as far as I know, there is only one hanger steak per animal. And since Slope Farms does not sell cuts of meat, only the whole animal, there aren't many Slope Farms hanger steaks to go around. When I had the steak in my hand I noticed that it felt kind of light, and that it was red, not the deep purple, almost blue that I am used to. It was veal - I had a veal hanger steak in my hands!

I share the same concerns about veal that you do, but as with chicken and pork and fish and everything else, there are good ways to raise animals for food, and bad ways. Slope Farms does things the good way.

Anyway...I watched a skilled butcher prepare a hanger steak once, using a long thin knife to slice both lobes of meat off of the tough central membrane. I tried this at home and failed miserably, losing about a third of my dinner in the process. Now I just accept the membrane as part of the meal. A chewy part of the meal, but I'm fine with that.

I like to keep things very simple with meat of this quality. Salt, pepper, a hot pan, that's it. But I had some good parsley lying around too.

So I made a kind of cross between salsa verde and Chimichurri, chopping parsley and mixing it with garlic that I pounded in the mortar and pestle, the zest of a whole lemon, a bit of dried red chili flakes, good olive oil, and salt.

Some roast broccoli on the side, the last 10 minutes in the oven with some thinly sliced garlic, and dressed simply with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I let the steak rest for about 10 minutes so the meat would re-absorb the juices.Sliced and topped with my hybrid of a parsley sauce. So that's the dish - veal hanger steak with parsley, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil, and some roast broccoli on the side. Please, you be the sommelier. What would you serve with this dish? Leave your ideas in the comments and in a few days I'll share what I drank and whether or not it was a good match.

22 comments:

AndrewR said...

grignolino

Anonymous said...

Hanger steak is super-intense and rich, so I think you need something less rich than your typical steak-and-cab pairing. Maybe a Cru Beaujolais or syrah.

John said...

Cabernet Franc or Cot from the Loire. A Chinon from Baudry or Clos Roche Blance Cot would be lovely.

Guglielmo Rocchiccioli said...

My suggestion is:

AMAT - TRADICIÓN CARRAU DESDE 1752 - CERRO CHAPEU - BODEGAS CARRAU DESDE 1752 - C. MAYO GUTIÉRREZ 2556 - MONTEVIDEO - URUGUAY - I.NA.VI 118 A 13,5% 2005

VISUAL ANALYSIS: the wine is limpid and the colour is ruby with garnet reflections; furthermore, the wine, when poured in the glass, flows with easy and slow fluidity.

OLFACTORY ANALYSIS: the odorous sensations are rich and pronounced in a way that, undergrowth, dried leaves, tobacco, sweet chocolate, leather, vanilla, dried figs, dried blackcurrant and liquorice which results in a mentholated sensation, are easily and pleasantly recognizable.

GUSTATIVE ANALYSIS: we can underline that this wine is almost balanced because there are a low tannic astringency and a not dominant alcoholic note. The structure is interesting and is accompanied by touches of salivation. No parameter prevails on the other. The final is just a little bit sweety and the gustative aromatic persistence is of 7 seconds.

WINE-FOOD COMBINATION: on every occasion of meat dishes

MY PERSONAL OPINION: from the very beginning this wine has aimed at reviving the grace of tasting a very well done wine. Then, go ahead with this tasting pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Romanee St. Vivant. Spice, dark fruit, exquisite nose.

Anonymous said...

A delicate yet firm Sangiovese sounds like a great match; I'd just do Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo and call it a day.

Jeremy Jennings said...

Possibly a Langhe Nebbiolo to complement the richness without overpowering it with.

Nicola said...

My first reaction was a cab franc from the Loire, or a red in general, with noticeable tannins to cut through the beef. However, you complicate things with all the parsley and the grilled broccoli and lemon zest...a tannic wine might create a metallic taste with these. So, I would recommend a "hearty" white...the other week, I had a 2007 Savignin L'Ivresse de Noe Arbois Pupillin from Philippe Bonard and I think this one might go well here too.

Cliff said...

Overnoy/Houillon Ploussard

ectomorph said...

Speaking here as someone who loves lesser-known appellations and independent winemakers -- I'm drinking some of Eric Texier's Vaison-la-Romaine as I write this -- I look at those beautiful atavistic meat slices and wonder: if not big honking aged Bordeaux now, when? Or else some meretricious Argentine malbec??

D J R-S said...

As a recovering vegetarian, I am picky & indecisive about what to pair with the onslaught of animal protein & texture. I even made a point of not eating any red meat my first month in Argentina. Somebody already shilled for his product from Uruguay, so I'll put in a word from some unusual stuff from Mendoza, nominally imported to the USA, but without a distribution deal, so...Devil take the hindmost, as it were: the brothers that founded Bodega Cecchin bought some vineyards in receivership & Spaniards had planted it to Graciano & Carignan. Yes, excellent Argentinian Carignan. They also grow ( & mostly sell bulk to some big guys, which is how I talked myslef to buying some of their stock from '06, which molders in Mendoza) some Bonarda, with unmarketably muted sottobosco fruit, & a domiinant black olive & olive leaf character that might just work perfectly with this dish...Oh, I forgot to mention-- Cecchin is the strictest non-interventionist winery in ARG.
Salute!

Alex Halberstadt said...

The St. Joseph from Gonon. Or a Blaufränkisch from Muhr-Van Der Niepoort or Paul Achs.

Lowelife said...

AR.PE.PE - Rosso di Valtellina 2007 will do nicely

rhit said...

How about some mourvedre? Pradeaux?

Saul said...

Since your cut of meat is a bit out of the ordinary I’d also pick a wine that’s a bit unusual. My choice would be a red from the volcanic soils of the Canary Islands. It is made of the Listan Negro variety, say hello to:
2008 Los Bermejos Lanzarote Tinto. The wine has general Cru-Beaujolais flavors with added bonus of herbal-funkiness and volcanic qualities that would play well with the green sauce that threw a lot of us off!

Wicker Parker said...

Since few are speaking up for the new world, I'll engage some counter-programming and suggest an old-school, mint-inflected California cabernet. Old River makes a good one for $19, but if you wanted to get fancy, an aged Mayacamas would be great. That said, the 08 Gaillac rouge I'm drinking right now from Mayragues (70% braucol (fer sevardou) and 30% cab sauv) and insanely good for $13, would also be terrific.

Keith Levenberg said...

Classic bistro dish, needs classic bistro wine, like Chinon or a Bordeaux cru bourgeois. But the chimmichurri makes the mind wander to malbec, so I'd go with Cahors or something else southwest; how about an Etxegaraya Cuvee Lehengoa?

Deetrane said...

Barbera D'Alba or D'Asti, young nebbiolo, Beaujolais would be my instinct.

Michael Amendola said...

There are several wines that would work for me: a syrah from Hevre Souhaut, Gaussen Bandol, Brovia Dolcetto, anything from Montesecondo, Bea's San Valentino, a big bottling from Breton like Beaumont or les Perrieres, ditto on Gonon

Brooklynguy said...

as always, these sound great. i really think we have collectively proved that there is no such ting as one exact and perfect pairing. anyway...i was also thrown by the pungent parsley sauce, and i decided to go with a young vines Gonon Syrah, the 2009 Ile de Feray, and it was fantstic with the dish.

Cassandra said...

Given the chimichurri-inspired sauce, my instincts tell me a malbec would be a nice compliment.

This looks like a great date meal.

gastrognome said...

Cabernet Franc. Young and rough. For sure.