Hanger steak

What it means

If you're not already familiar with hanger steak, this is a prime season for getting acquainted: Hanger steak performs remarkably well on the backyard grill.

Although it's been almost two decades since a Long Island meat wholesaler conceded to The New York Times that "the hanger steak secret is finally out," the cut still isn't as well-known as a rib-eye or filet. Unlike those steakhouse standards, the hanger steak, a portion of the diaphragm which "hangs" below a steer's ribs, is grainy and coarse. It's mushy when undercooked and tough when overcooked.

At medium rare, though, hanger steak is tender, flavorful and juicy. It's sometimes called a butcher's steak because butchers saved the cut for themselves (assuming they didn't just toss it in the ground beef mix: The price of hanger steak has surged since restaurant chefs discovered it.) In France, where it's long been popular, it's known as onglet, although French-leaning kitchens in the United States are more likely to label it a bistro steak. Look for it with fries.

Where we saw it

Ted's Butcherblock (Painted Hills beef, $14 per pound)

Where else you can try it

Befitting its French influences, Chez Nous already has served a hanger steak with roasted potatoes. Other restaurants with hanger steak on the menu include Barsa, The Granary, Burwell's Stone Fire Grill, Crave, Fat Hen and The Original Ms. Rose's.

Where to buy it

Every cow comes with a hanger steak, so any butcher should be able to provide one.

Hanna Raskin