With Turkey Day just around the corner, everyone seems to have their knickers in a twist about turkey, stuffing and all that nonsense. Sure, it’s all delicious (and don’t even get me started on the binge-fest known as “dessert”), but I’m getting a bit of a head start on the unsung, fail-safe hero of the Thanksgiving table. I’m giving it up for the cranberry.
Pigeonholed into a can-molded, jellied sidekick to turkey or juiced companion to vodka and lime, the breadth of the cranberry’s abilities is far-reaching and delicious. Think of it as going great with more than just poultry or booze. Take a hanger steak, for instance. It is rich, meaty and sings in perfect harmony with the tart, acidic flavor of cranberries.
This time of year, picking up fresh cranberries is easy-breezy, but when the cornucopias and tinsel find their way back into the holiday storage bin, remember the humble cranberry (he does live in the freezer section in the off-season). Think what a great companion he was at the holidays, and savor that all year long.
Hanger Steaks With Ginger-Cranberry Sauce
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 (8-ounce) hanger steaks, at room temperature
Salt and ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon honey
Zest and juice of 1 small orange
1 spring rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
1 (1-inch) knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper and sear in the skillet, turning once, until cooked to your desired doneness (about 6 minutes per side for medium). Let the cooked steaks rest on a plate for about 10 minutes before slicing.
While the steaks are cooking, in the bowl of a food processor combine the cranberries, honey, orange zest and juice, rosemary and ginger. Pulse the machine 15 to 20 times to coarsely chop and combine all of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve the cranberry sauce.
Serve the steaks by thinly slicing them against the grain and garnishing with the reserved cranberry sauce.
NOTE: This sauce is incredibly flexible and can be adapted to whatever flavor profile you like. Instead of ginger-rosemary, try adding in chipotle in adobo with cilantro or even grapefruit with basil.
I like to round out this meal with some steamed brown rice or — even better — roasted squash (it is fall, after all).
More Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes from Patrick Decker
- Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken
- Frito Pie Stuffed Baked Potato
- Miso-Honey Shrimp Stir-Fry
- Salmon Teriyaki Sliders
- Cheesy Baked Chicken Chopped Salad
- BBQ Buffalo Chicken Hoagies
- Thai Style Chicken Wings
- Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Mac
- Slow-Cooker Braised Pork
- Crispy Tuscan Pork Cutlets
- Pork Chops with Fennel Apple Slaw
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars like Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee and Paula Deen, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following his latest Tweets on twitter at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.