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Ancho hanger steak with charred corn & jalapeño salsa

Leyli Homayoonfar

Smoky barbecued steak with the vibrant flavours of Mexico

Recipe Meta


30 mins


30 mins






For the ancho hanger steak

  • 250g hanger steak, butterflied
  • 1 tsp ancho chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp light oil

For the mojo de ajo

  • 3 arbol chilies
  • 20 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange, zest and juice

For the charred corn and jalapeño salsa

  • 1 whole golden corn cob
  • 4 green jalapeños
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • A good pinch of sea salt


To butterfly the steak, make a horizontal cut most of the way along the side of the steak, stopping before you get to the end so that it opens up to reveal two matching sides. The steak is now thinner and more tender and will cook quickly without burning the spiced marinade.

In a small bowl, make the marinade by combining the chilli powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and sea salt with the olive oil. Rub the paste on both sides of the steak and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.

To make the mojo de ajo, heat a cast iron or heavy based pan on a low-medium heat. Toast the arbol chillies, garlic cloves and cumin seeds for a few seconds, releasing their flavour, before pouring in the olive oil. Bring to a gentle simmer and, using a spoon, continue to confit the garlic cloves until lightly brown and soft to the touch. Remove from the heat, add the orange juice, zest and sea salt and transfer to a small serving bowl.

Bring your barbecue up to a fierce but steady and even heat with white coals. Place the whole corn cob and jalapeños directly onto the grill, turning occasionally until evenly charred all over. Remove to a chopping board and allow to cool slightly while you grill your steak.

Ensure the barbecue is still fiercely hot – you want the steak to cook quickly without burning the spices or sticking to the griddle. Using tongs, place the steak directly onto the hot grill and flip every 30 seconds so the flames lick the meat. After a few minutes, or when the steak achieves a good dark-golden crust, remove from the barbecue, place on a carving board, and spoon over half of the mojo de ajo. Leave the steak to rest for a few minutes while you finish preparing the salsa.

Hold the charred corn upright on the board and run a knife downwards to shave the kernels from the cob. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the charred jalapeños and add to the same mixing bowl, along with the minced garlic, lime juice and zest, chopped coriander, sea salt and olive oil. Mix well and set aside.

Thinly slice the steak, mixing it up in its resting juices as you do. Spoon over the salsa and serve alongside the remaining mojo de ajo. Serve with warm corn tortillas and a fiery hot sauce.

Images: Rachel Phipps