What is bavette steak, and how to cook it?

stir fry bavette steak

So what is bavette steak? Bavette steak is a tasty piece of meat coming from the sirloin primal. It’s a large, long, and well-exercised muscle. It’s not one of the most tender pieces of beef with a wide grain and coarse texture; however, with a good cooking technique, you can turn this meat into a delicious dish.

Bavette steak is a versatile cut often used for stir fry, fajita, tacos, enchiladas, or salads. In this article, I’ll show you how to cook the perfect bavette steak and explain in detail how this tasty piece of meat tastes, where it comes from, and more.

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What is bavette steak?

raw bavette steak

What part of the cow is bavette steak?

Bavette steak is a beef cut from the sirloin primal that sits at the intersection of the flank primal, short loin, and the bottom sirloin. It’s a long and thin cut weighing between 1-1,5 pounds.

How does bavette steak taste?

Bavette steak has an excellent strong beefy flavor. It comes from a well-worked muscle; therefore, steak is lean with some marbling and a perfect flavor profile.

What is the texture of the bavette steak?

Bavette steak has a loose texture and is dense in fibers due to its well-exercised nature; however, fibers are not tightly bound, making it quite tender compared to other similar cuts like skirt or flank steak. It also doesn’t have much stringy fat making it easier to chew.

Where to buy bavette steak?

You can buy bavette steak online at your local butcher shop or supermarket (Not all supermarkets have bavette steak for sale).

Other names for bavette steak

Bavette steak is also known as flap steak, sirloin bavette, sirloin flap, and butcher’s cut.

How to choose bavette steak for cooking?

A knowledgeable butcher will not sell you a bad quality steak; however, often in supermarkets, the staff is not very familiar with what a bad steak looks like.

I recommend checking the USDA grading system on the packaging, which indicates the quality of the meat.

Here’s how to choose a good quality bavette steak:

  • Smell. Fresh beef should have a metallic smell; however, if it has a hint of ammonia odor, it’s a sign the meat began to spoil.
  • Color. Fresh bavette steak should have a bright red color. Grass-fed bavette steak is red, while grain-fed bavette steak has a pinkish hue. However, if you notice the steak is brown, it might signify meat spoilage. Make sure to ask the butcher how old the steak is because oxidation may cause the steak to turn brown, but the meat is still good.
  • Marbling. The more marbling the meat has, the more flavorful it is. Make sure bavette has a lot of it.
  • Touch. Steak should not feel sticky to the touch. It must have a firm texture. If it has a slimy surface, it’s a sign of meat spoilage.

How to cook bavette steak

Alternative cooking methods for bavette steak:

Cooking bavette steak on a grill

grilled bavette steak
  1. Marinade. Before marinating bavette steak, trim off excess fat. When excess fat is trimmed, marinade bavette steak with your favorite marinade, and leave it overnight. Alternatively, you can use a salt solution to tenderize steak with salt. It’ll make your steak tender and juicy without losing much of the beefy flavor;
  2. Leave the steak out before cooking. Take the steak out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking. It’ll allow steak to cook evenly throughout;
  3. Prepare the grill. Prepare the grill for two-zone cooking; leave hot coals on one side. If using a gas grill, turn one side of the grill on medium-high heat and another side on medium;
  4. Pat steak dry. Before grilling bavette steak, remove excess moisture using a paper towel. It’ll help to get a nice crispy crust on the steak’s exterior;
  5. Sear the steak. To get a crust on the steak, sear it over direct heat side of the grill for at least 2-3 minutes on each side;
  6. Cook over indirect heat. When a nice golden crust has formed, move the steak to the indirect heat side of the grill and continue cooking. Since bavette steak has a thin and thick end, ensure the thin end sits the farthest from the direct heat. Turn the steak every two minutes. Cuts from sirloin butt tend to be chewy when overcooked. Make sure not to overcook the meat. Beyond a medium level of doneness, steak can turn chewy. Using a meat thermometer, check the steak’s internal temperature. Remove from the grill when the internal temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired level of doneness;
  7. Rest. After being removed from the heat source, the steak continues to cook for another few more minutes. Make sure to give it some time to rest. It’s essential because it’ll allow steak juice to redistribute throughout the meat’s interior, making it soft and juicy;
  8. Slice. Once the steak is rested for 5-1o minutes, it’s time to slice it. Make sure to slice grilled bavette steak against the grain. It’ll make the steak easier to chew.

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Cooking bavette steak in a cast iron pan

pan fried bavette steak
  1. Marinade. Remove excess fat from the steak’s exterior and marinade overnight using your favorite recipe. To tenderize the steak, you can use salt solution, which makes it tender and juicy without sacrificing its beefy flavor.
  2. Bring bavette steak to room temperature. Bring the steak to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking. It’ll allow bavette to cook evenly throughout;
  3. Preheat the cast iron pan. Place cast iron skillet on a stovetop over medium-high heat until smoking hot. The surface should be 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit;
  4. Pat steak dry. Remove excess moisture using a paper towel;
  5. Sear the steak. Sear the steak for about two minutes on each side until brown crust forms;
  6. Cook on medium. When a brown steak crust is formed, turn the heat to medium and continue cooking to your liking. Since the steak is thick on one end and thin on the other, use tongs to lift the narrow end while cooking. It’ll help not to overcook the meat. Using a meat thermometer, check the steak’s internal temperature. It’s best to cook steak rare or medium rare. If bavette steak is cooked past medium, it turns dry and chewy. Towards the end of cooking the meat, add a few nobs of butter together with some garlic, fresh thyme, and rosemary. It’ll add an extra depth of flavor to the meat;
  7. Rest. Remove steak from the cast iron skillet when the internal temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired level of doneness. The steak will continue to cook when off the heat and reach the desired doneness. Resting steak is essential because it allows steak juice to redistribute throughout the steak’s interior, making it tender and juicy. So give it a time – 5 to 10 minutes is more than enough for a thin cut of meat;
  8. Slice. Slice bavette steak against the grain and serve with your favorite side dishes.

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Some of the best bavette steak recipes

Here’re some of the best bavette steak recipes:

FAQ

Is bavette a good cut of steak?

Bavette steak is an excellent cut full of flavor. It’s a very versatile cut of meat that is easy to cook and relatively cheap to buy. This beef cut is an excellent alternative to skirt steak, often used for fajitas tacos and enchiladas.

Is bavette steak the same as flank steak?

Bavette steak is from the bottom sirloin of the cow, while flank steak is taken from the abdominal muscles of the cow (flank section).

What is a bavette steak similar to?

Bavette steak is similar to skirt and flank steaks. They have similar flavors, textures, and prices.

Why is bavette steak cheap?

Bavette steak comes from a well-exercised area of the cow which is tough, making it more affordable. While it’s an exceptionally flavorful cut of meat, it can’t match the tenderness of more premium steaks.

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