Welcome spring with Chef Ian Crandall’s hanger steak recipe

Intro by Pam George | Photograph by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the April 2021 issue


Longtime visitors to the Historic Lewes Farmers Market will recognize Ian Crandall, co-owner of Kindle and Half Full in downtown Lewes. The chef has participated in the market’s cooking demonstration program for more than 10 years. Crandall is also a market customer. “I love the people,” he says. “I go as often as I can.” 

The Gaithersburg, Md., native hunts for uncommon vegetables grown by “adventurous farmers.” Consider green garlic — garlic harvested early. 

“Green garlic can take many forms at the farmers market or at the store,” says Crandall, who was 15 when he started managing the salad bar at a Giant supermarket. “I recommend the type that looks more like scallions, with no true bulb formed yet.”

Crandall incorporates green garlic into sauce that complements his grilled hanger steak paillard. (A paillard is a French term for boneless meat that’s been pounded thin. Similar to flank steak, hanger is a cut of beef so flavorful that butchers often kept it for themselves. Consequently, many people thought the “butcher’s cut” was inferior. In fact, it’s tender.) 

From Davidson Exotic Mushrooms, Crandall buys meaty king trumpet mushrooms, which are part of the oyster mushroom family. Cooks value the tall fungi for both the small caps and fat stems. Crandall cuts them with a “roll cut”: Slice on the diagonal, roll the mushroom a quarter-inch, cut again, and so forth. 

Crandall’s grilled steak dish builds a culinary bridge between the seasons. The recipe also includes hearty farro, a nutty-tasting grain, and Fifer Orchards’ asparagus, which adds a punch of spring color. It all makes for a pretty plate. “If you are feeling fancy, position everything to the right side in a crescent moon-type shape,” Crandall suggests. “Then snap a photo for your Instagram account.”


(Serves 2) 


For the green garlic sauce:

2  ounces of green garlic, cleaned and chopped fine (if green garlic is not available, substitute one ounce of lightly roasted garlic cloves with one ounce of cleaned scallion greens)  
cups of cremefraiche, a version of sour cream with a higher fat content 
teaspoons of fine sea salt  
tablespoons of Champagne vinegar

Combine ingredients, stir well and adjust seasoning if needed. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.


For the paillard:

8  ounces of hanger steak, trimmed and pounded thin 
Freshly ground salt and pepper 
Vegetable oil cooking spray

STEP 1 Season the steak with salt and pepper.

STEP 2 Spray with oil.

STEP 3 Grill to desired doneness and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.


For mushroom-and-asparagus saute:

ounces of butter  
bunch of asparagus (about 12, depending on the size), sliced on the bias 
pound of king trumpet mushrooms, roll cut
cup of cooked farro 
cup of white wine 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
tablespoons of micro purple basil (can substitute regular basil)

STEP 1 Heat butter in a saute pan until melted.

STEP 2 Saute mushrooms and asparagus three to four minutes.

STEP 3 Add farro and wine, simmer until almost dry; adjust seasoning. 

STEP 4 Garnish with basil.


To serve: 

Crandall places the meat on the plate, decorates it with dots of crema and ladles the saute mixture on top. Alternatively,  you can: 

STEP 1  Put the vegetables and farro on the plate. 

STEP 2  Slice the steak and fan it over the saute mixture. 

STEP 3  Top with the crema