One of the most underrated yet incredible cuts of beef you can get is the hanging tenderloin. It’s not as widely known as, say, filet mignon or ribeye, and it’s fairly underappreciated on the culinary scene.
Perhaps its lack of recognition is a good thing. The fewer people who know about this beautiful cut, the more meat there is for those of us who do. And now that you’ve stumbled upon this article, you’re considered one of the few.
If you’re new to the hanging tenderloin and want to try making it for yourself, here are 6 tasty ways to prepare it for dinner.
What Is a Hanging Tenderloin?
Hanging tenderloin, also known as hanger steak, is a cut of beef that comes from the diaphragm muscle of the cow. It’s a flavorful and tender cut that is typically cooked quickly over high heat. Because it’s a relatively small and thin piece of meat, it’s best served as medium-rare or medium.
The ideal way to cook hanger steak is on the grill or pan-seared on the stovetop, though you can cook it any way you like. Additionally, marinating before cooking enhances its flavor and tenderness, taking the cut to the next level.
6 Ways to Prepare Hanging Tenderloin
There are many ways to prepare hanging tenderloin, so you’ve got a lot of options when making it for dinner. It’s pretty versatile and can be used as a component of another recipe or just eaten as a steak.
Below are some of the tastiest methods of preparing and cooking hanging tenderloin.
Grilling the tenderloin is perfect if you want a nice char on your steak with a slightly smoky flavor.
You should marinate the steak for at least an hour before grilling so you can let the flavors penetrate the meat and break down the fibers. Popular marinades for this cut often incorporate soy sauce, lemon, wine, rosemary, and garlic.
After letting it sit, all you’ve got to do is grill the hanging tenderloin on high heat for a couple of minutes on each side or until the steak has reached medium rare.
Pan-searing the steak is an excellent way to cook hanger steak if you want to keep the cut juicy, tender, and full of flavor.
Sure, grilling it accomplishes this reasonably well, but pan-searing allows you to have more control over the juices (which you’ll baste the liquid overtop of the steak) and create a much deeper crust.
After generously seasoning the steak with salt and pepper (or using a marinade), all you’ve got to do is heat a skillet over high heat and add a bit of oil.
Once hot, add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer if you prefer it more well-done. Throwing in some butter halfway through will help the steak develop a more pronounced crust and impart a delicious nuttiness to it.
Broiling hanging tenderloin follows a similar process to grilling and pan-searing it (a marinade and short cook time at high temps) but doesn’t do the job quite as well.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great way to cook the steak, especially if you’re trying to save time, but it’s typically better to opt for one of the previous two options.
Who says you have to eat hanger steak as a steak? No one, that’s who!
Cutting the hanging tenderloin into thin slices and frying it up with soy sauce and veggies makes an excellent, hassle-free stir fry that’ll feed and satisfy the whole family any day of the week.
If you want your strips of meat to reach maximum tenderness, you’ve got to (you guessed it) marinade it beforehand.
You probably wouldn’t braise a New York strip steak or a ribeye since that would defeat the purpose of the steak.
Well, here’s the beauty of hanging tenderloin: it’s so versatile that braising it is a wholly viable and delicious option.
Accomplishing a tasty braised hanger steak is as simple as cutting the meat into chunks and slow-cooking it in a flavorful liquid made of red wine, beef broth, and tomatoes for a few hours.
Like braising, smoking a hanger steak takes time but is well worth it. Not only do smoked steaks have a rich, smoky flavor, but they’re also juicer and even more tender than your average steak.
Instead of using a wet marinade, smoking requires you to season the steak with your favorite rub and cook it over low heat for a couple of hours. What you’re left with is moist, pull-apart meat that melts in your mouth.
Here are some frequently asked questions around the web about hanging tenderloin.
Is hanging tender steak good?
Hanging tenderloin is a delicious, less-known cut of meat. While it has a wide array of culinary applications, it’s primarily a steak and a favorite amongst a small but dedicated niche of meat lovers.
Is hanger steak better than filet?
The debate on whether hanger steak or filet is better is entirely subjective and based on individual taste. While hanger steak is cheaper and typically more flavorful, the filet is way more tender and has its distinct flavor.
What is bison hanging tenderloin?
Bison hanging tenderloin is the hanging tenderloin cut from a bison. It’s fundamentally the same cut as that of a cow, but bison is drier and tougher than cow’s meat. This means it relies more heavily on preparation to become tender and moist.
The hanging tenderloin is a versatile, tasty piece of meat that’s relatively unknown to the public. Despite its lack of reputation, there’s still a lot to be said about this cut, and many chefs are just now learning how to incorporate it into a variety of dishes and meals.
If you get your hands on some of this glorious steak, you’ll find that it makes a delicious dinner when prepared correctly and will probably find itself on your table more than once.