If you don't know Bryan Flannery (BF) meat you need to read this carefully. BF puts out the highest quality meat at the best price. USDA PRIME beef, artisan bacon, the works. Of course it's not cheap, but it's FAR cheaper than all the other butchers at his price. For example, IOWA Farms in San Diego is over $34/lb for USDA Prime 24 day aged Midwest NY steak, Bryan? $32/lb. But when you put them side by side you'll be blown away by the difference. You can't get meat at Ruth Chris/Maestros/Morton's as good as Flannery.
So when Steve told me he had a few BF Hanger Steaks I was ready as spaghetti to chow down.
3 strips of Prime Hanger @ $15.99 a lb (one strip is roughly 1.2lbs). If you've never heard of Hanger Steak you're in for a treat. It's the part of the beef that's "hanging" from the diaphragm of the cow. Really strong in a rich beefy flavor. If you go to Whole Foods you'll find this for about $12lb. But it'll still have the nasty central membrane attached and the quality is SO much lower you wouldn't even think it was the same meat.
I introduced my friend Ryan to Hanger Steaks from BF last week for his new Le Creuset Grill Pan and homeboy was in LoVE. This is his love and dedication to it.
Usually some nice coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper do the trick for these puppies.***: dude, i dropped a piece last night***: and i got cat hair on it***: i still ate it (after i brushed it off)
You can see the nice lines of fat that run through the beautiful piece of delicious meat.
To pair with it we had some bacon that BF had sent me the week before. Vande Rose Farms Artisan Fry Applewood Smoked Bacon. Bryan in his infinite generosity sent me this box for free because I had no idea which bacon out of the two he had to chose from so I got 2 for the price of 1 =).
The bacon is dry cured with brown sugar, salt, pepper and applewood smoked. Cook's illustrated recommended it as it's FAVORITE premium applewood bacon.
Steve took the bacon and quickly seared it to wrap around some freshly purchased scallops *YUM!*
To pair with our meal we opened a couple of bottles of vino.
d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2005
Not your typical Aussie Shiraz with in your face fruit and syrupy bold consistency.
- 10 hour decant.
When I took a sit at hour 2 I almost gagged at the amount of petroleum syrup there was in this wine, I wasn't ready for it. But when I re-bottled it and brought it to Steve's it changed into a whole different beast. A nice nose of small dark berries with some spice box waffling at the top. I was surprised by great amount of acidity on the palate with clean concentrated fruit of (limited) strawberries and blueberries with fresh cracked pepper sprinkled on top. Elegantly made with no overwhelming alcoholic presence and a long 30+ second finish of light tickling fruit and fine tannins. (93 pts.)
- Incredibly dark and deep colored wine. A nose of toasted oak/fresh vanilla, smoke, pepper, rich deep black berries. Giant gobs of mellow/ripe blackberry, syrup, pepper, cocoa coat the insides of your mouth. As rich and big as the wine in, it's a very smooth drink. Nice long finish with a backbone of tannin and acidity that suggest its ability to age. What's most surprising is after about 2 hours you start tasting meat and bacon fat on the palate. Reminded me a bit of a Youthful Cali Cab when we first drank it... (94 pts.)
Steve also busted out some Skirt steak from BF that we didn't cook. Just wanted to show you the proliferation of thin lines of fat that run through this steak. Doesn't it make you drool? Don't you want to reach out and touch it?
We tossed the Bacon wrapped scallops on the grill with the hanger and settled in for some wine and cheese.
Shortly after we had touchdown!
The bacon is beyond words. I'll try but it can't even match the joy my taste buds felt. A great combination of sweetness from the brown sugar mixed in with the salty bacon fat but at the same time thick and meaty full of strong ham flavor that rises up against the fat.
We then partook in the hanger steak with a side of saffron rice.
For the inquiring minds, the Saffron rice is a combination of
- White rice
- Chicken broth opposed to water
- Olive Oil
- Half a sweet onion.
Put it all in a rice cooker and let it go (Thanks Steve!)
The hanger is as delicious as always. The thin strips of fat melt away at medium rare and integrate beautifully into the meat. The meat itself is soft, which is actually something rare in hanger steak which tends to be a rougher steak. But the dry age + incredibly high end Prime nature of the steak allow the steak to almost melt in your mouth like butter. The meat does a great job of balancing out with the salt and pepper, the richness of the fat doesn't allow the salt to overwhelm it, but to be a partner in it's dance of flavor love.
So if you haven't bought yourself some Flannery, do yourself a favor and go get some! Try the Hanger, I PROMISE you won't regret it!