How to trim and cook onglet: the beefiest steak you will ever taste – and the best value for money

Onglet steaks

Onglet isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but looks can be deceiving: this is a bee-yoo-ti-ful steak, flavour-wise. One of the best. And as cheap as the chips you serve it with.

This magnificent specimen cost £9 from my local farmers’ market. Once trimmed of fat and sinew, it made four 1cm steaks. That’s £2.25 per steak. I know this because I paid attention at school. And I have a calculator.

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But the real beauty of onglet (that’s what the French call it, but it’s also known as thick skirt, hanger or butcher’s cut) is the taste.

Onglet is a muscle that hangs beneath the diaphragm of the cow, near the kidneys, so it has an intense offally flavour. It has a coarse, striated, grainy texture, which makes it very tough and chewy if overcooked.

The key to making the most of it is two-fold:

1) Butcher it correctly, and..

2) Cook it correctly.

Onglet comes as two  large, loose-grained muscles stuck together side to side joined by a very tough string of connective tissue and a wrapping of silverskin. You need to use a very sharp knife to separate the muscles, remove the white connective string and then trim away the silverskin.

Next, cut each muscle into two (optional) then use the ridged side of a meat hammer to give the steaks a few good bases to tenderise them.

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Now, heat a griddle or frying pan until it’s smoking hot. Oil the steaks (not the pan) and cook the steaks for no more than 1 minute each side – and, even better – for me, at least – just 30 seconds per side.

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This is crucial. Any longer, and you’re chewing the sole of a boot. And if you don’t like your steaks rare, onglet is most definitely not for you.

I served these steaks with deep-fried straw potatoes and an amazing Umami mushroom sauce, made with mushrooms, beef stock, dried rosemary and strong blue cheese.

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3 Comments

Filed under Beef, Recipe Shed

3 Responses to How to trim and cook onglet: the beefiest steak you will ever taste – and the best value for money

  1. Don

    Thank you so much for this article. I have just cooked Onglet for the first time – and I got a delicious, tender, soft result that even my fussy-eater wife considered very fine. Without the tip to hammer to tenderise and to cook for just thirty seconds a side I would probably have ruined it. As it is – a repeat performance is most likely!

    Not a cut I would want all the time but an interesting and tasty change with the inevitable chips, mushrooms and peas!

    • keithkendrick

      Hey Don, what a coincidence: we had onglet last night. It was stunning, as usual. I dressed it with some chimichurri, which added some tang to balance the beefiness. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Saucy Stu

    Excellent guide, I had onglet at a French resteraunt the first time and have had it out of choice ever since, for anyone having difficulty finding it though – it is also known as the ‘never ‘eard of it’ steak if you ask at the supermarket’s butchery counter, or the ‘uh? What’s that’ cut of beef, but dont despair, after all when you work with something day in day out, the last thing you want is to be knowledgeable in an area, right? So here is what I found worked – take the list of ALL its varous names and go to a local butcher, worked a treat.