Bavette is the French term for a cut of beef that's known in English by the unappetizing name of flap steak. Bavette is tougher and more fibrous than some of the more popular cuts, but it's full of flavor and cheaper than similar cuts such as flank and skirt. Bavette is best suited for cooking quickly over a high, dry heat -- grilling and stir-frying are good techniques to use. Marinate first, never cook further than medium rare, then slice against the grain for best results.
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
- 2 tablespoons ground ancho chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 lbs. bavette steak
- Shallow nonreactive dish
- Charcoal or gas grill
You can also cook your bavette steaks in a grill pan on the stovetop. You can also pan-saute bavettes on high heat for a similar cooking time.
Thinly sliced grilled bavette steak makes a good filling for tacos.
Marinade ingredients can be varied according to your taste. Omit the chili powder if you don't like spice. Add orange or lime juice, soy sauce, tequila or bourbon, cumin and other spices and herbs as you wish.
Bavette can also be successfully stir-fried. In this case, you will want to slice the meat after marinating but before putting into your wok or saute pan.
Don't overcook the bavettes or they will be chewy and tough.
Bavette steaks are too think to successfully use a meat thermometer to test doneness. You can tell doneness by feel, however. Rare meat feels soft but not squishy to the touch, while medium-rare is firmer but still yielding. If it starts to feel firm to the touch, the steak is heading toward medium and should be removed from the heat source immediately.
Combine the garlic, ancho chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl and whisk together until well combined. This is your marinade.
Place the bavette steaks in a shallow nonreactive dish and pour the marinade over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator approximately an hour before cooking and let it return to room temperature.
Prepare your gas or charcoal grill in the meantime. You will want the fire to be medium-hot. Hold your hand palm down just above the grill rack and count how many seconds it takes before you have to remove your hand. You're aiming for 3 seconds for medium-high.
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Season with more salt and pepper.
Grill over direct heat for about six minutes per side, until medium rare.
Let the meat rest for about five to 10 minutes, then cut against the grain into thin slices. Serve immediately.
Things You'll Need
- SF Gate; Butchers' Best-kept Secret; Tara Duggan; March 2005
- "The Complete Meat Cookbook"; Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly; 1998
Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.