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Seared Hanger Steak with Merlot-Mustard Pan Sauce

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • 2 trimmed (about 1 pound each) hanger steaks, center vein removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for finishing sauce (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine, such as Merlot or Chianti
  • 1 cup rich beef stock
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme plus 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


Steak on the gril—whether it’s cooked outside or indoors—s a welcome treat any time of the year. We’ve pushed this one over the top with the addition of a mustard and red wine sauce that’s simple and quick to make. Hanger steak is prized for its rich flavor and is similar in texture to flank steak. When purchasing this flavorful cut, ask your butcher to remove the center vein which separates the steak into two pieces. If you prefer, use flank steak or ribeye in place of the hanger steak.

Allow steaks to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat steaks dry and season generously on all sides with salt and pepper.

Pour oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Carefully place steaks in the skillet and sear until a dark brown crust forms, about 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Using tongs, transfer steak to a cutting board with a well and tent loosely with foil. Allow steaks to rest at least 10 minutes.

Pour off and discard oil from the skillet used to cook the steaks. Return skillet to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and heat until butter foams. When foaming subsides, add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine, stock, thyme sprigs, and mustard, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release browned bits. Continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs, taste sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter, if using. Keep sauce warm over low heat.

To serve, cut steaks into ½-inch thick slices across the grain using a sharp slicing knife. Divide slices between 4 warmed dinner plates, drizzle with a few ounces of pan sauce, and garnish with chopped thyme. Serve immediately, serving additional pan sauce in a gravy boat on the side.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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