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Hanger Steak Sandwich

Do I look frazzled? Hair a mess? No makeup (gasp!)?

Yeah, that’s a pretty good summation of the previous eight weeks. Turmoil, tears, triumph. We will overcome this period of our lives and one day we will look back on them with a selective blur and remember only those times that shine with happiness and laughter. But for now….it’s hard.

I can’t say I really believe in the umbrella term of “colic”, but this child falls under the official definition. In my opinion, and that of others with more initials after their names, most colicky babies are just underdeveloped in the area of digestion. I can’t say I help her any with my ingestion of anything and everything with no bias. What I eat, she eats and I will not give anything up. Well, okay…I gave up raw garlic (sob!) but only because the mister made me. I don’t think it’s made a difference though…

Each and every night from about the time I start on the task of making dinner, she is awake and she is not happy. She cries, and it is loud. It’s not that gentle newborn cry, it’s an eardrum grating rasp and I think I may have incurred hearing damage from it. We do what we can to comfort her with different holding strategies, bouncing, jiggling, cooing, distraction, diaper changes, swaddles, bicycle legs, etc. but she just keeps on going.

I think we are getting a handle on not killing each other in frustration as we try to keep some semblage of our normal lives, playing with this little one as well as trying to calm down his new sister at the same time, but even with two sets of hands it can be hard.

For now I bring comfort at those most hectic of times with food that we wouldn’t normally have. It’s bad for us, it’s full of fat and calories and I couldn’t care less. I’m filling the tankers as I go and offering them to baby as I eat my own meal, calories in, calories out in less than 10 minutes flat. That’s how it works, right?

On a recent trip to Philadelphia, my husband was obsessed with finding a “Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich” only to discover that they are called simply “Cheesesteaks” in Philadelphia. Also, a “true” Philly Cheesesteak is something that would never see the light of day in my house. (An honest to God Philly Cheesesteak is covered in *shudder* Cheez Whiz and served on white baguette). So we went about recreating something from a place called “Eulogy” in downtown Philly. I wasn’t there, but I imagine the food was similar to this sandwich. Gooey, creamy, garlicky and meaty beyond description. The rich taste of hanger steak is what makes this sandwich really shine, but if you can’t find hanger steak at your local butcher, try using skirt or flank steak instead. The secret is to slice it as thinly as possible (You can try freezing it for 45 minutes and slicing before pan frying for a more evenly sliced steak).

Hanger Steak Sandwich

2 tbsp butter
1/2 lb. white or crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced into thin half moons
1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark beer
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 lb hanging tenderloin (aka hanging tender, butcher’s steak, onglet, butcher’s tenderloin or hanger steak)
1 French style loaf (or other crusty loaf style bread)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
100g Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced

1. In a small sauté pan, sauté mushrooms on medium high in 1 tbsp of butter until cooked throughout and slightly golden.
2. Now to make caramelized onions: In separate sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp of butter and add in sliced onions. Sauté on medium high until translucent and soft. Add in brown sugar and allow to melt in. Then pour in beer 1/4 cup at a time. Allow beer to completely dissipate before adding more beer and then season with salt and pepper.
3. Season tenderloin with oil and salt and pepper and grill on a BBQ for 7-10 minutes, turning once or twice. You want the meat to be just over rare when done.

4. When the meat is done, allow to rest for five minutes and then begin slicing into the thinnest slices possible. Use a very sharp knife for this (DO NOT use a serrated blade).
5. In a small sauce pan melt the 1/4 cup of butter with the garlic and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Brush this on the loaf (sliced in half and then horizontally to make a sandwich).
6. Heat broiler in oven to high, pile meat onto the buttered loaves, top with cheese and broil until golden and bubbly. Done!

Similarly delicious recipes from other blogs:

Pittsburgh -Style Cheese Steak Panini on Panini Happy
Cheesesteak Dip on The Food in My Beard
Cheesesteak Stromboli on Columbus Foodie
Philly Cheeseteak turnovers on Becks and Posh
Hanger Steak with Shallots on Simply Recipes

35 comments to Hanger Steak Sandwich

  • Hang in there. It does get easier. Your children are adorable and that cheesesteak looks pretty darn good too.

  • heather

    The sandwich looks AMAZING, a definite must try. In the meantime, can I suggest BioGaia for the baby. They are probiotic drops that help with that ‘underdeveloped digestion’ and can greatly help with the colic. Worked for my little one. You buy at most major pharmacies, just ask the pharmacist as they are kept in the fridge. They are about $30 for a months supply, so not cheap, but when underslept, perhaps worth it?

    I’d love to hear if they work.

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Heather! I have heard of them, but had forgotten! Perhaps I will give them a try…though I am not underslept (we co-sleep) I am frazzled during the day.

  • Joy

    That looks so good. I love phily cheesesteaks. Your little boy is adorable.
    Joy recently posted..What a SummerMy Profile

  • Mmmmm! My husband and I lived in Delaware for 3 years (30 min. from Philly) and cheesesteaks were standard fare–but yours looks much better!

  • This sandwich looks SO incredible! I wish I had one right now, starting to think about lunch. Hang in there with the colic, I know what a trying time it is. My little guy responded well to gas drops (Mylicon) before each feeding, in case you haven’t already tried that.
    Kathy – Panini Happy recently posted..27 Simple PaniniMy Profile

  • Adi

    Oh… I feel your pain! Well, I feel MY pain, as I sit here nursing my little 7 week old cherub who definitely meets the definition… the purple-faced, ear splitting screams that fill our days from about 7pm to 1am must be heard to be believed!
    We also have a 3 1/2 yr old son who I fear we have been somewhat neglecting as this new little one takes all our time and energy to soothe…. aye, the guilt…

    We are trying BioGaia drops now, but it’s been just a few days so far. Another trick we’ll be trying starting today is an old-fashioned home remedy of colic tea, made simply by steeping a few tummy-taming spices, then cooling the “tea” and giving to babe in a medicine dropper before each feed. I’m starting with Cumin seeds today…
    I hear chamomile tea works well for some…

    Will let you know if it works!
    Love your web-site by the way – and best of luck to you,

  • That looks wonderful. And what is more amazing is the fact that you were able to make it and blog about it with a sweet baby demanding so much attention. I remember those days quite well. And I agree, meals are whatever you can make instead of well thought out nutritional marvels of domestic inspiration.

    As I look at your amazing sandwich, I can’t help but wonder how a little smoked Gouda might be on it? I’m miles from Philly, so what do I care if I stray further from the original? LOL

  • Foodlvr

    Only some Philly cheesesteak places use Cheez Whiz, some use provolone. I have eaten my share of the real thing in my day. Used to have a face place on South Street in Philly called Jim’s Steaks. I liked mine with everything – mushrooms, onions, oh yeah.

    This looks really good. They normally use ribeye, from what I hear, but made with hanger steak (which is much harder to find around here) must be really delicious. The pictures are making me hungry.

  • Great steak and pictures. I go way back…my son is 43 and when he was born…you got it.. colic..my mom would make him fresh camomile tea and that always eased him. Mom always believed in natural things….I in turn would want to take a valium…LOL….Hang in there.
    norma recently posted..PINA COLADA FLANMy Profile

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for all the suggestions people and the love and stories you share of your own colicky children. I know good times are coming, and I wait with bated breath!

  • Mubeena

    Hang in there…this too shall pass!

  • My son had colick for 8 months..8 loooong months. He cried from 8pm-4am. We used the swing,carrides,everything we could think of..and he just cried. It took me a very long time before I was able to make a bond with him. I was so tired. So I do understand and thankfully they do outgrow it. He’s 10 now but I remember that time like it was yesterday.

    I havent had a decent cheesesteak in..well I’ve never had a decent cheesesteak before..I think I need to change that : )
    Sonya recently posted..Today I learnedMy Profile

  • Oh you poor thing! My dd cried non stop for the first 2 months of her sweet life. She is now almost 17. I hope you can ease the colic cramps.
    Michelle in NV
    SierraSnowSoaps recently posted..Drumroll Please!My Profile

  • Gonzophilly

    As a die hard Phillies fan and Philly native, I am trying with every last ounce of will power to hold back my Philly attitude. This looks absolutely amazing first off and bravo on the presentation. I am going to my local market today to get all the ingredients for this masterpiece. I am salivating just thinking about this sandwich! With that said( and this is to all the cooks who take our sandwich and “improve it”)…..please do not compare/reference/mention Philly Cheesesteak if you are going to “shudder” or bad mouth what the REAL thing is. The Philly Cheesesteak was not meant to grace the cover of Gourmet( however it did get a nice write up in the Jan 09′ issue). The Philly Cheesesteak is an Amoroso roll, chopped rib-eye or top round, wit whiz (or wit out). Plain and simple. It’s the kind of food you want after a long night of drinking after Kendrick lets up 6 runs in the first 3 2/3 innings( ugh!). ::sigh::….Sorry about that I tried my best to keep him subdued. Again, bravo on the presentation and the re-imagining of the Philly staple!

  • I love steak sandwiches, and I know I’d love this one! Going to have to make this for dinner soon.

  • Carla

    You make my mouth water to the max with this. I want a bite!

  • OTA Mom

    Great recipe, my husband will love this.

    My 3 yr-old was born born at 32 weeks with GERD, and my 14-month child had colic for the first 3 months of her life between 8:00 and 11:00 every night. We tried it all (teas, simethicone, infant massage, colic remedies, change in diet, various formulas instead of breast milk, etc.), met with many doctors to no avail and I believe as you do that it is simply an underdeveloped digestive system that just needs time. I deeply resent to this day the doctors and older women in my life who made this out to be something minor or easily correctable or simply my fault somehow, like it would be all better if I’d just stop eating onions or making too much out of it, as if all babies scream for hours with their little legs drawn up and this is natural. In my experience, 6 months of age is a threshhold of change, things did improve greatly at that age. Those trying times to me are now just a distant memory, closed off behind a door in my brain. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Paige

    My family is from Philadelphia and the Cheese Wiz cheesesteak is NOT what we consider a real cheeseseak. Those are what places usually serve to tourists for convenience (you don’t have to wait for cheese wiz to melt). One usually has to find a mildly terrifying hole in the wall place to find a good cheesesteak. These true cheesesteaks have provolone cheese and a thinner bun. By steaming the bun on the grill using the moisture from produced by the onions and meat the bun becomes soft and soaks up the juices of the meat. The best way to tell if you have a good cheesesteak is if the bag it was in has pretty much disintegrated by the time it gets home, lol. Sorry for the long rant, but I’m a bit of a purist. I hope your cheesesteak adventures are better in the future!

  • I think you look very pretty, even without make up, your childrean are adorable as well. Steaks sounds superb!
    elra recently posted..Crab Xacuti- Goan Crab CurryMy Profile

  • WOW. Your fantastic photos and and detailed descriptions of food have this strange connection to my salivary glands… must be a sign of a good food blog, right? 🙂
    Way to go taking care of your baby. This too shall pass.
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) recently posted..Better Beans &amp RiceMy Profile

  • The title of this post immediately drew me in – hanger steak is my absolute favorite cut, to the point of not really wanting to eat steak if it isn’t hanger! The sandwich looks fantastic. But as I read about this trying time you’re going through, well, that’s when I really started to identify. My firstborn was “colicky” (I still don’t know if I believe in the term) for the first three months or so, and it was so, so hard on us. He would also projectile vomit if the crying got really bad, so you can imagine how lovely that was. (It happened on three separate plane rides. Ugh.) The only thing that I ever found to help (and I tried everything anyone suggested), was to wear him while vacuuming. There must have been something about the closeness to me, plus the white noise and gentle motion that soothed him. But I had to start BEFORE he started crying, which was the point of no return. I’d vacuum ’til he fell asleep – the sign that the crying risk had passed. Sometimes it took two hours. My floors have never been as clean as they were back then! Anyway, all this is to say hang in there, because the skies WILL brighten soon! I’m loving your blog!
    Tara recently posted..it always rains on tents rainstorms will travel thousands of miles for the opportunity to rain on a tentMy Profile

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Tara! I do wear Isla in a wrap right now and go for walks with Cohen (the older one) as I find she’ll sleep lon periods that way. Works for me during the day but during the evening I just want to have aglass of wine, relax and veg out. Know what I mean? Soon I will be able to again!

  • My first born was colicky and it almost drove me nuts and I did what you did cutting out certain foods. None worked until someone asked if i was drinking milk. of course i was! They said try cutting that out and replacing it with yogurt and other nutritional similar foods. To complete amazement it worked almost instantly. They don’t feed infants milk so in a way it made sense. I hope this helps because I will never forget those frustrating nights.
    Laura recently posted..A Farm Stand Sandwich for a FestivalMy Profile

  • Hi Elizabeth,
    I just stumbled upon your blog via Tasty Kitchen and I read this post (btw the sandwich looks absolutely fabulous)…I just wanted to let you know that my close girlfriend and another friend both went through a very similar situation, and eventually found out that food allergies were the cause. The one friend’s baby was allergic to gluten and lactose. The other friend’s baby to egg whites. I wanted to share this with you because I remember how emotionally and physically exhausting this experience was for both of them, and I know they both wish they would have had their children tested for allergies sooner…I am not sure if you have already tried this avenue, but if not it may be an option…
    I am sending you strength and encouragement!

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Lindsey! I don’t think we are having food allergy issues as it’s not every night and it happens with every kind of food or not…some nights are better than others though, but everything is getting better already!

  • Oh, gosh, hang in there girl! I’ve definitely been there…We used “Gripe Water’ for our littles. I think the base is anise. Anyway, it was natural, and seemed to help the colic.
    Aimee recently posted..Picking- Drying &amp Freezing- How to Preserve Summer’s HerbsMy Profile

  • […] Hanger Steak Sandwich Recipe | Guilty Kitchen 2. Now to make caramelized onions: In separate sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp of butter and add in sliced onions. Sauté on medium high until translucent and soft. Add in brown sugar and allow to melt in. […]

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