Bavette is the French word for flank steak, a highly flavorful, loosely textured flat cut of meat taken from the abdominal muscles of the cow. Bavette steaks had fallen out of popularity as supermarket meat counters outstripped traditional butchers, but as emphasis on pasture raised local meat sources grows, we’re proud to offer bavette steak to customers who believe as we do: healthy animals make healthy meat.
A bavette steak is a well-exercised cut of meat, especially from a pasture-raised cow, which means it can be pretty tough. As such, many recipes recommend marinating or braising to keep the meat moist and tender. The French believe the best method of cooking a bavette steak is to sear it, rendering a juicy, tender steak with a short cook time, 15 minutes max.
If done right, bavette steak can be quite the show-stopping, mouth-watering centerpiece of an excellent meal.
Ingredients for the Perfect Bavette Steak
1 ½ to 2 lb bavette steak
Coarse ground black pepper
Unrefined sea salt
2 TBSP tallow, or goose/duck fat (from pasture-raised animals)
1 TBSP butter (from pasture-raised cows)
Bring bavette steak to room temperature and pat dry with paper towel.
You’ll need a searing hot, heavy based pan such as a cast iron skillet, or a griddle.
Create a crust by liberally coating the meat with coarse ground black pepper and sea salt. Be generous. Combine the tallow with the butter in the hot pan. The tallow will prevent the butter burning, though a vent hood is a good idea at this stage. Just as the tallow/butter combination seems it will begin smoking, lay the bavette steak in the pan to sear on either side for 3-7 minutes depending on your preferred doneness.
Season the meat to taste with salt and pepper, and then coat with a thin layer of the goose/duck fat to create the meat’s crust. Lay the bavette steak into the searing hot pan. Turn the steak only once after a rich, golden crust has formed. Once crust has formed on both sides, reduce heat to medium and cook 3-4 minutes each side for rare. Finish by adding the butter when frying or on the griddle.
Use of a meat thermometer tells when the desired doneness is reached:
Rare = 120F
Medium Rare = 125F
Medium = 130F
For those who swear by the thumbprint method, rare is still soft with very little spring-back. Medium rare is still soft with a little spring-back, and medium is very little soft with more spring-back.
NOTE: Do not cook the bavette beyond medium as it will continue to cook when taken off the heat source.
Remove the bavette from the pan and let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes, more likely 10, before carving. This allows the juices to run through the steak longer rather than escaping, keeping it tender and juicy. Slice in strips across the grain for serving, much to the delight of your dinner companions.