I first ate onglet steak at a cafÃ© in Paris the first (actually, first of two) time my wife and I managed to get away for a weekend since weve had kids. It was astonishing: incredibly intense and beefy, almost like chewing a stock cube. The texture was open-grained and although quite chewy, the flavour more than made up for the work my mastication muscles had to do.
When I arrived home I tracked some down to the Ginger Pig butchers in Londons Borough Market. Back at home, the GP-sourced onglet was every bit as delicious as the French version and I was determined to have it again.
Unfortuantely, since that terrific experience five years ago, Ive been constantly disappointed by the knowledge of butchers when Ive tried to find some without trekking down to Borough Market. Some hadnt even heard of it; others confused it with flank steak. Quite depressing, really.
I finally got the opportunity to buy some more when I met a foodie friend for a few pints at BM a couple of weeks ago and at last, I was able to get hold of the beloved onglet once again.
Its not difficult to identify, but I guess because its not a very attractive piece of meat, its often not displayed by butchers. It is deep, deep red with a loose grain, and when opened up has a tough white tendon running down the middle, which is easily removed.
It HAS to be cooked rare 1 minute either side otherwise youll be chewing on leather soles but to make it even more tender, I cut a 1 kg onglet into four steaks and bashed them with a meat mallet until they were about 1 cm thick, then oiled the steaks and flash-fried them in a very hot pan.
If you do struggle to explain to your butcher what youre after, he might understand the term hanger steak so named because this cut hangs beneath the animal. In fact, it hangs between the 12th and 13th rib, which puts it close to the liver and kidneys, and the meat has a slight offal tang as a result.
1 kg onglet
1-2 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Hest a large frying pan until it is white hot.
2. Cut the piece of onglet into 4 steaks and bash to 1 cm thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
3. Rub the oil onto the steaks.
4. Cook the steak for 1 minute each side.
5. Season the steak with the salt and pepper.
6. Serve with chips and blue cheese mushrooms.