Bagna cauda, the Northern Italian sauce of anchovies and garlic melted into butter and olive oil, is traditionally used as a dip for vegetables, but it's also a killer quick and easy pan sauce for steak. Have doubts? Just remember: Anchovies are a key ingredient in Worcestershire.
Why this recipe works:
- The sauce is so easy it comes together in just minutes while the steak rests.
- Lemon juice—not a traditional ingredient in bagna cauda—adds bright acidity to balance the flavor of the dish.
- 2 pounds hanger steak, trimmed of excess fat and silverskin and cut into 4 even portions (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
- 2 tablespoons chopped anchovy fillets (about 8 fillets)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Season steak all over with salt and pepper. In a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until shimmering. Add steak and cook, turning frequently, until an instant-read thermometer registers 120 to 125°F for medium-rare, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Lower heat to medium-low and add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in garlic and anchovy and cook until garlic is lightly golden and anchovy has dissolved into the sauce, about 3 minutes. Stir in butter until melted. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat.
Return steaks to skillet and baste with sauce. Transfer steaks to a work surface, slice across the grain, and serve immediately, spooning remaining sauce on top and garnishing with parsley.
An equivalent weight of flank, flap, or skirt steak can be used in place of hanger steak.