Grilled Hanger Steaks

This week we have a really tasty recipe for Grilled Hanger Steaks, Romesco Sauce and Sweet Potato Fries from Croke Park chefs Ruairi and Jason. We’ve been working with these guys for years and they really know their meat. This recipe is a perfect weekend dish – particularly if it stays sunny. We have hanger steak on special too: €7 for 450g pack. More on

This under-rated cut of beef, taken from the plate, or under belly was also known as the ‘Butchers Cut’, due mainly to the butcher keeping this prized steak for themselves! With as much flavour as a rib-eye, and when grilled & rested correctly as tender as a fillet, this little-known gem of a steak is a true delight and will undoubtedly become a firm favourite after the first try. Your butcher will trim this for you, ready to cook, but remember the golden rule when cooking any red meat is to rest it. This is absolutely essential. 10-15 minutes resting time will allow the meat fibres to relax, the juices to re-absorb, and this will transform your eating experience.

Beef marinade

While not strictly necessary, a good rub or quick marinade always elevates grilled meat to the next level of deliciousness! Try this simple & quick blend:

  • Mix 20g smoked paprika, 20g sea salt, 20g cracked black pepper together in a bowl & rub generously into the steak.
  • Toss in 70 ml little olive oil and coat the steaks fully; then cover & refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Remove from fridge at least 15 minutes to bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. The French term is called á chambre and applies to all red meat!

Romesco sauce

Thought to hail back from Roman times, this sauce was originally made by the fishermen of Tarragona, a port city in Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain, to accompany fish. A delicious rustic, tomato-based & garden herb summer sauce, it is also the perfect accompaniment to a quick grilled hanger steak.

Pro tip: Roast whole bulbs of garlic for at least 40 minutes in the oven first, then squeeze the pulp out like squeezing an orange.

  • In a blender, add 2 garlic cloves , 20ml white wine vinegar, 100ml olive oil, 200g roast red pepper, 100g grilled or roast tomatoes, 100g sliced almonds, 20g fresh anchovies, 40g fresh breadcrumbs, and 2 bunches fresh herbs (parsley & basil).
  • Pulse blend leaving some chunks for texture.
  • Taste & season with salt & pepper.

Sweet potato fries

It’s very hard to get real crispy sweet potato fries like regular potato fries, and that is mainly down to the increased sugar content in the sweet potato starch. It is possible though if you use the ‘double fry’ method as shown below. We recommend you leave the skin on the sweet potato as it is very high in fibre & antioxidants and also tastes great!

  • Wash potatoes thoroughly with a wire scrubber under cold running water.
  • Dry thoroughly & cut both ends so the potato stands freely.
  • Cut into ½ cm x ½ cm chips. Cover with cold water in a bowl for 30 mins. This is crucial to getting the fries crispy as it removes some of the starch before cooking.
  • Drain off water and rinse. Lay out evenly on a cloth or tea towel. Cover with another cloth or tea towel to dry thoroughly.
  • Bring oil to a medium heat- approx. 130-140°c. This is to slowly cook the sweet potato without browning. 1-part olive oil to 4 parts sunflower oil gives great flavour. Gradually add the sweet potato chips, not all together as this will reduce the temperature of the oil.
  • When the fries are soft to touch, remove from the oil with a perforated spoon and allow to drain on a wire rack or a cloth.
  • Increase oil temperature to 180-190°c. Gradually add chips back to the pan to crisp up & brown.
  • Once cooked & browned, drain out and season with a light sprinkling of smoked paprika, sea salt and garlic powder.