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Bavette is a delicious steak that’s tender, juicy and full of flavor! Sometimes called flap steak, this long and flat cut comes from the sirloin primal. It’s ideal for grilling or pan searing, plus you can use it to make amazing fajitas!
One of my all-time favorite types of steak is bavette. Not only does it make your mouth water, it’s oh-so versatile. You can serve it simply for a budget-friendly weeknight dinner, or dress it up with garlic butter or chimichurri for a special occasion. That’s probably why bavette graces the menus of steakhouses across America as well as bistros in Paris.
There are many options for side dishes including mashed potatoes, rice or French fries; vegetables such as mushrooms or broccoli; or just a crisp green salad. You’ll find it’s easy to prepare and always a hit!
What is Bavette Steak?
Bavette steak comes from the bottom sirloin section of the sirloin primal. While this cut is bears some similarities to flank steak located underneath it, bavette has looser muscle fibers and more closely resembles hanger steak or skirt steak.
The name comes from France where the name bavette d’aloyau translates as “bib” for its long and thin shape. Your local meat counter may also call it flap steak or sometimes vacio steak.
Bavette beef is prized for being juicy and flavorful, but it’s also more affordable as a lesser-known cut. In addition to steak, it can be marinated and used for fajitas and other recipes.
How to Cook Bavette Steak
Bavette steak is well-suited to high-temperature cooking including grilling and pan frying. However, you can also cook it sous vide or in the oven. Unlike with flank steak, it does not require a marinade to be tender and juicy, although using one will add flavor.
Before cooking, try to remove the meat from the fridge a half-hour ahead of time to take the chill off. Then pat it dry with paper towels, rub with oil and seasonings.
After cooking, remove the bavette to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Then let it rest undisturbed for 5 minutes so the juices can redistribute through the meat. Then slice against the grain to serve.
When Is It Done?
Bavette steak is best cooked medium-rare but it’s also delicious rare or medium. If you want to cook it longer than that, consider using a marinade to help tenderize the meat.
The most accurate way to check doneness is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the steak. Then compare to the table below:
|Doneness||While Cooking||After Resting|
|Rare: cool red center||120°F||125°F|
|Medium Rare: warm red center||130°F||135°F|
|Medium: warm pink center||135°F||140°F|
|Medium Well: slight pink center||145°F||150°F|
|Well Done: little or no pink||155°F||160°F|
Note that the temperature rises 5°F after cooking as the heat distributes through the meat. For this reason, the USDA recommends cooking to 145°F followed by a 3-minute rest before serving, although not everyone is willing to cook that long.
More steak recipes:
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Pan Seared Bavette Steak
- 1 ½ pounds bavette steak, see note
- 2 teaspoons canola oil, see note
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- rosemary sprigs
- Remove the steak from the fridge 30-60 minutes ahead of time so it can reach room temperature for even cooking.
- Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture that could interfere with a good sear. Rub 1 tablespoon oil on all sides. Then season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Place a cast-iron pan medium-high to high heat and wait 4-5 minutes for the pan to become very hot.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan followed by the bavette steak.
- Cook the steak, flipping every minute or so for even searing. After 3-4 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and add the butter and optional fresh herbs. Spoon the pan juices onto the meat once or twice to baste.
- Start checking doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the meat: 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, 145°F for medium-well and 155°F for well-done.
- Remove to a plate or carving board and cover with foil. Let it rest undisturbed for 5 minutes so the juices can redistribute through the meat.
- Slice crosswise against the grain to serve and drizzle pan juices on top.
- Meat: Bavette steak is a long and flat from the bottom sirloin, right above the flank steak. You might also see it labelled flap steak, vacio steak or sirloin bavette.
- Oil: Any high-temperature oil including canola oil, sunflower oil, or refined olive oil. Avoid extra virgin olive oil which may smoke.
- Grilled Bavette Steak: Set up your grill with two zones: a hot zone on high and a cool zone with heat off. Prepare the bavette as above and then sear on the hot zone for 2 minutes per side, rotating one minute in for crosshatch grill marks. Move the bavette to the cool zone and close the lid. Cook several minutes more until it reaches your desired doneness. Remove from the grill and rest covered before serving.
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