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Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Hanger Steak with Carrots and Warm Lentil Salad

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Serves 4

  • by Liz Pearson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 107

When the leaves start falling off the trees, it's the perfect time to settle in with a meal that celebrates the season—this dish even looks like fall. Toasting and grinding coriander and cumin seeds makes them more fragrant and flavorful than pre-ground versions. A clean spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle does the job beautifully.

For the lentil salad
  • Generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1-1/2 cups French green lentils, picked through, rinsed, and drained
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seed, toasted and ground
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the steak and carrots
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. beef hanger steak, trimmed
  • 8 medium carrots (about 1-1/2 lb.), halved crosswise, thicker ends halved or quartered lengthwise, cut into uniform 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

Make the lentil salad

Toast the saffron in a 4-quart saucepan set over medium-low heat until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Off the heat, use the back of a spoon to crush the saffron as finely as possible. Add 6 cups water and the lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 35 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well. Transfer the lentils to a large bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the stove.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. salt and cook until softened and golden-brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and cook until most of it is absorbed, scraping up any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with the lentils.Add the cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper flakes, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil; fold together to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Roast the steak and carrots

While the lentils cook, combine 1 Tbs. of the oil with the coriander, cinnamon, ginger, garlic paste, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the steak, transfer to a plate, and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, the sugar, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring halfway through, until the carrots are just becoming tender, about 20 minutes. Push the carrots to one side of the baking sheet and arrange the steak on the other side. Roast until the carrots are very tender and golden-brown and the steak is medium rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steak should read 130°F to 135°F), 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes; keep the carrots warm.

Thinly slice the steak against the grain and serve on top of the lentils, drizzled with any accumulated meat juices. Arrange the roasted carrots on the side.

Serving Suggestions

For dessert, serve an Apple-Cranberry Crisp or create your own recipe using the Fruit Crisp Recipe Maker.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 660; Fat (g): 27; Fat Calories (kcal): 240; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 47; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 960; Cholesterol (mg): 80; Fiber (g): 15;

Photo: Scott Phillips

New to cooking here and I want to try making this. Can someone tell me how to granulate the sugar? Thanks!

The steak was delicious, the carrots were wonderful but my lentil salad - while delicious - looked like sludge. I didn't have the French lentils, maybe that's why? The step to toast and then grind the seeds seemed unnecessarily fussy to me - next time I'll try just toasting ground cardamom and cumin.

The hanger steak had great exotic flavor and turned out tender and juicy. My guests couldn't decipher what the unique but tasty flavor was in the steak. They were shocked to learn cinnamon was used as a flavoring for the steak. The lentil salad was superb with clean,earthy, typical mid-eastern style flavors. The balance of flavors in both the steak and lentil salad were point on. The carrots were pretty much your basic plain roasted carrots but their sweetness were a nice offset to the highly seasoned flavors of the steak and lentils. Be sure to be attentive to cooking times on the steak since they tend to cook quickly. Do not cook this cut of meat past medium or it will rapidly become tough as nails. The thinner portions of the steak was cooked past medium and it was a bit tough. A great meal for a crisp Fall night.

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