Onglet de Boeuf Frites (Hanger Steak & Fries)

The worst thing about eating french fries, in my view, isn’t the starch carbs or the anti-nutrients in potatoes, but what they are deep fried in. You can rest assured that you’re getting some sort of industrailly processed, heat & solvent extracted, deodorized franken oil with the high omega 6 polyunsaturated fats heavily oxidized from heat damage.

But that’s a problem I can easily deal with.

Natural Cooking Fats
Natural Cooking Fats

That’s tallow rendered from grassfed ground beef, leaf lard, and coconut oil. A veritable cornucopia of healthful saturated fat goodness.

And, naturally, I had to reduce some of my beef & bone stock. The hanger steak, very popular in France, is really one of my favorite cuts of meat. The texture isn’t exactly tender, but it’s not tough at all. It has a nice pleasant chewiness combined with arguably the best flavor of any steak. There’s only one hanger cut per animal. This one was from La Cense, so grassfed. It’s also a pretty economical cut at about the same price as flank steak, but way better in my opinion.

I chose to grill it, and too bad I didn’t take a picture of the inside. It was perfect medium rare. The fries are twice fried. Essentially, put them in long enough to get hot throughout (3 minutes, perhaps), remove to a mesh strainer while you get the meat finished and the sauce reduced. The fries continue to self cook. Then, put the fries back in and they brown up really quickly. And, they’re nice & fresh, hot, & ready when dinner’s ready.

Onglet de Boeuf Frites
Onglet de Boeuf Frites

So, if you’re not in heavy weight loss mode and can tolerate some potatoes now and then, you can’t go wrong this way. Just do them yourself in good ‘ol saturated fat.

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  1. Mark D on November 6, 2009 at 12:46


    If you don’t mind eting the occasioanl carb rich meal, then if you are ever in the UK go to a fish and chip shop (what you call fries we call chips) just about every such shop cooks their food in several gallons of boiling hot lard – you’ll love it!

    • Richard Nikoley on November 6, 2009 at 12:58

      Funny because last evening we went to the pub with friends. It’s only a 5-minute walk.

      Four of them had fish & chips, one had the shepherd’s pie and I had bangers & eggs. I’m gonna have to ask my friend the owner what kind of cooking oil they use.

      Over here, I’m sure any restaurant that uses lard — except the gourmet places — uses the lard that’s partially hydrogenated, i.e., trans fats.

      • Mark D on November 6, 2009 at 14:34

        “lard that’s partially hydrogenated” – Hmm, that’s a thought; I don’t think that such stuff has caught on at Fish and chip shops, since accepted wisdom here is to a limit how often you visit them due to the “deadly saturated fat” that they use to cook. However I’ll ask the owner of my local and report back. I’ll be devastated if they have started using frankenfats as I love deep fried fish and just about the only time I eat potatos is when I have fish and chips…….

        Cheers – Mark

  2. Lute Nikoley on November 6, 2009 at 13:26

    What are the “anti nutrients” in potatoes.

    • JM on November 6, 2009 at 13:43

      “Potatoes contain anti nutrients (saponins/glykoalkaloids) – solanine and alpha shikonin, which cause holes in the gut

      Quote from: Wikipedia
      Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family, such as potatoes. It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers. It is very toxic even in small quantities. Solanine has both fungicidal and pesticidal properties, and it is one of the plant’s natural defenses.

      Quote from: Wikipedia
      Glycoalkaloids are a family of poisons commonly found in the plant species Solanum dulcamara (nightshade).[1] There are several glycoalkaloids (alkaloids + sugars) that are potentially toxic. A prototypical glycoalkaloid is called solanine (sugar [solanose] + alkaloid [solanidine] = solanine), which is found in potatoes. The alkaloidal portion of the glycoalkaloid is also generically referred to as an aglycone. The intact glycoalkaloid is poorly absorbed from the GI tract but causes GI irritation. The aglycone is absorbed and is believed to be responsible for observed nervous system signs. Glycoalkaloids are bitter tasting, and produce a burning irritation in the back of the mouth and side of the tongue when eaten.”

      • Anand Srivastava on November 6, 2009 at 22:31

        It is important to not eat green potatoes, and definitely remove the skin, with some flesh below it. It is what paleolithic people did when they cooked their tubers in amber. The skin got burnt along with substantial flesh. Potatoes after removing the skin are mostly harmless. Sweet Potatoes will be better.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 6, 2009 at 13:45

      solanine, chaconine and asparagine. There may be more, but that’s what came up in a quick Googling.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 6, 2009 at 13:49

      It’s instructive to keep in mind that animals evolve mostly physical defenses against predators (claws, teeth, shells, strength, speed, agility, etc.) and plants evolve mostly chemical defenses (anti-nutrients, toxins, and outright poisons).

      Of course, there are exceptions: skunks, venus flytrap, and then hybrids, like poisonous snakes.

  3. Aaron Blaisdell on November 6, 2009 at 19:56

    I wonder if sweet potatoes have these same or similar types of antinutrients. I make sweet potato fries in the oven (using coconut oil, bacon drippings, or tallow rendered from my beef stock) about once a week. I know sweet potatoes are not in the nightshade family as they’re not closely related to the potato, but Richard is correct that most plants contain chemicals in them to act as a deterrent to being eaten.

  4. Kelly on November 6, 2009 at 21:45

    Hi Richard,
    I was just wandering how a person eating paleo, primal etc has balance eg. a few treats here and there in their paleo lifestyle, without making a very healthy lifestyle unhealthy again? How often do you eat something that isn’t a perfect paleo meal? I’ve seen the 80/20 rule on Marks Daily Apple, but I don’t understand how to apply it. Am trying to find balance here. Any tips on how often you can partake in something not 100% paleo and still maintain excellent health results from eating paleo?

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2009 at 10:33

      I think it’s completely up to the individual. I do almost no grains ever, or sugar. But, I do indulge in alcohol pretty frequently (whiskey & wine, almost never beer), and small amounts of potato now and then.

      Seems to work for me, but probably won’t for everyone. Gotta self-experiment.

  5. Lute Nikoley on November 6, 2009 at 23:35

    JM, thans for the info., however didn’t the Inca’s take care of the poisonous aspect of potatoes about a thousand years ago? Also I am somewhat bewildered about the denial that potatoes can be a good food.

    I lived through WWII in East Germany through and after the war. If it were not for potatoes, I would not be alive today. When you have nothing to eat but potatoes and weeds you can find in the fields (what cattle eat) and and bones you get out of garbage cans and cook it, and survive that, you might change your mind about the value of potatoes. I am now nearly 72, doing mostly paleo (about 80%) which I thank my son Richard for, and as healthy and strong as a fifty year old. Anybody want to take me on in arm resteling?

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2009 at 09:59

      It was the Peruvians that selectively bread the potato to be edible. But, there are still various levels of toxins and anti-nutrients in them, differing amounts per cultivar, and, the actual plant is highly toxic even still. But, many plants have these same traits — it’s just that potatoes (and peanuts) have some of the nastiest ones and highest concentrations.

      Doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, and they’re certainly better than nothing, but they’re not an optimally nutritious food especially considering the high carb content.

  6. JM on November 7, 2009 at 10:24


    Thank you for sharing that story. My friend’s father told a similar
    one recently. He was in China/Taiwan after the Japanese invaded.
    He said his rations were one potato/yam per day. “Good food” is
    somewhat relative. Even the “bad foods”, wheat sugar, industrial
    meat are good for you IF that is your only source of calories. In the
    West, our food choices are many and we can choose to eat what
    we want. Most of the people in the West (US) choose to eat foods
    that are known to cause an inflammatory process in the body.
    Thank goodness we have those choices as many people have no
    choice at all. I think the goal of eliminating wheat, potatoes and
    sugar is strive for optimal health.

  7. Lute Nikoley on November 7, 2009 at 11:38

    JM, I totally agree

  8. Michael on November 7, 2009 at 12:33

    Nice Richard,

    As a college student I am always looking for economical pastured meats; I’ll keep hanger steak in mind. The subsequent info about potatoes/sweet potatoes in the comments was interesting. Since I’m already young, fit, and into strength/power training I’m not worried about “weight loss” so I like to incorporate a lot of paleo carbs like fruits, squash and sweet potatoes. Just to clarify – sweet potatoes have less anti-nutrients than regular potatoes?

    In your opinion Richard, what are the healthiest paleo carb choices?

    • JM on November 7, 2009 at 13:02

      This quote came from Dr. Cordain’s new blog.

      “Q: In the article in today’s email “The Paleo Diet Promotes Greater Vitality in Later Years” by Pedro Bastos he writes about the Okinawan Diet. He writes that they don’t eat potatoes but I understand that they eat lots of Sweet Potatoes.

      A: Yes, probably they ate big amounts of sweet potatoes as some hunter-gatherers do in Kitava-Papua New Guinea. Our ancestors didn’t have an universal diet because it depended on climate, season, latitude, culture, etc. This means that the amount of carbohydrates they ate varied substantially. So, for instance in Kitava they eat a lot of carbohydrates and still have no obesity, so it seems as if some bioactive substances of neolithic foods are responsible for hormonal disruption rather than merely carbohydrate content.

      However, there’s a big difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potatoes are a good source of some known harmful substances namely saponins. They have the ability to increase intestinal permeability and hence increase the risk of autoimmune diseases (in genetically predisposed individuals), and induce low-grade chronic inflammation which is at the root of many chronic degenerative diseases. On the other hand, there’s some preliminary data suggesting that some bioactive substances, such as lectins and saponins, contained in potatoes, grains, legumes, etc. can bind hormonal receptors impairing their function. This could be the case of leptin receptor leading to leptin resistance and some metabolic disorders.

      Potatoes is a very new food for humans as they came from America less than 600 years ago. On the other hand, it seems that sweet potatoes are part of the human diet since a long time ago.”

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2009 at 15:06


      It really depends on whether you’re looking for moderate carbs or something with the fewest anti-nutrient in case you want a significant amount of carbs, say,on a natural diet: 100-150g per day.

      I’d say the best sources are berries for moderate carbs. For full-blown carbage, that’s gotta go to roots / tubers: sweet potato, turnip, parsnip, and so on.

  9. physician assistant on April 29, 2010 at 22:31

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  10. Wild Elk Steaks Sous Vide | Free The Animal on November 21, 2011 at 14:25

    […] flavor was quite excellent, very much like a good flank steak — flank, hanger and bavette being my favorite cuts for the sous vide method. 130F, an hour or more, and you can't […]

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