What is Bavette Steak & How to Cook It

Acabonac Farms |

Welcome to the flavorful world of Bavette steak (a.k.a. flap steak), a hidden gem that is revered by chefs and steak lovers alike. Often overshadowed by more famous cuts, this lesser-known treasure is prized for its rich, beefy taste and satisfyingly tender-chewy texture. But what exactly is Bavette steak, and why does it deserve a spot on your dinner table?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll uncover the processes of selecting, preparing, and cooking Bavette steak to perfection, and explore mouth-watering recipe ideas that showcase its unique charm. Ready to expand your palate? Come join us in the expansive green fields of Acabonac Farms and learn why our grass-fed bavette is the best-kept secret you need to know about. 🤫

Key Takeaways

  • What’s in a Name? Bavette is French for “bib,” a reference to the long, flat shape of the cut. This same cut is often referred to as “flap steak” in the US.
  • Prime Cut, Prime Location: While it might be unfamiliar to some, Bavette offers a perfect blend of taste and tenderness. Sourced from the sirloin area near the lower belly of the cow, it’s richly marbled and utterly delicious.
  • Versatility Galore: With its marbled texture and rich flavor, Bavette steak is exceptionally suited for grilling, broiling, and pan-frying, promising a perfect sear and mouth-watering results.
  • Grass-Fed Goodness: Ready to try this yummy cut? Opt for grass-fed Bavette steak from Acabonac farms. Not only will you enjoy superior health benefits and exceptional flavor, but also support environmentally sustainable and ethically sound farming practices.

What is Bavette Steak?

Beef bavette might not be the first cut you think of when you imagine a juicy piece of steak, but it's definitely one worth knowing. Bavette comes from the French word for "bib," an apt description for the long, flat shape of the cut. It's a beloved staple in French bistro cuisine, so you know it must be good!

It's less marbled and a bit tougher than a ribeye, but the slightly loose and grainy texture holds up well to high-heat cooking methods. Also, it’s important to note that just because it is *tougher* than a ribeye or tenderloin, that doesn’t mean it is tough — bavette has a satisfying chew when prepared properly.

If you're trying to place it among more familiar cuts of beef, think of the Bavette as a cousin to flank and skirt steaks. While skirt steak comes from the plate section and flank steak is located further back towards the rear legs, bavette is specifically cut from the richly flavored sirloin flap.

what is bavette steak

Is Bavette a Good Cut of Steak?

That’s like asking “Do cows love grass?” The answer is a resounding YES! Unlike more uniform, tender cuts like filet mignon, bavette beef offers a slightly chewier, pleasantly meaty mouthfeel. With pronounced marbling and a looser grain, Bavette is particularly well-suited for high-heat cooking methods where the outside can achieve a caramelized crust while the inside remains tender and juicy.

The flavor profile of Bavette meat is notably beefy, making it a prime candidate for a variety of bold seasonings and marinades. It's fantastic in steak fajitas because it can stand up to the sizzle of the skillet, or in a hearty steak salad, where its flavor can shine alongside fresh, vibrant ingredients. So, whether you're looking to impress at a backyard barbecue or spice up a weeknight dinner, bavette is a steak that won't disappoint.

How to Choose and Prepare Bavette Steak

Choosing the right cut makes all the difference. To ensure you get the best quality Bavette steak, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while shopping: 

Selecting the Best Quality Bavette Steak 

Firstly, look for a cut that showcases good marbling—the little white flecks and stripes of fat throughout the meat. This is a hallmark of flavor and will help the steak stay moist and juicy when cooked. You should also be looking for rich, red-colored meat as a sign of freshness.

Go Grass-Fed 

Grass-fed beef is superior to grain-fed in every way. Grass-fed beef is healthier — the meat is generally leaner, yet packed with more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants compared to grain-fed counterparts. If you’re looking for an easy way to avoid inflammation, grass-fed beef is it. 

As if that weren’t enough to love, choosing grass-fed beef supports environmentally friendly farming practices and promotes ethical animal raising standards. That’s a win for all parties!

Prep Like A Pro 

Before you fire up the grill or heat the skillet, a bit of preparation goes a long way. Since Bavette is a denser, more fibrous cut, marinating it is recommended to enhance beef’s tenderness and imbue it with flavors that complement its natural beefiness. 

Use an acidic base like vinegar or citrus juice mixed with your favorite herbs and spices, and let the steak marinate for several hours or overnight to break down the tough fibers. Lightly scoring the surface of the steak before marinating can also be beneficial. This allows the marinade to penetrate more deeply.

Please note that beef should not be left in an acidic marinade for longer than 24 hours (unless you freeze it before it hits the 24-hour mark), as the acidity will begin to unravel the proteins and can leave you with a mushy consistency.

Tenderizing the meat with a meat mallet or bladed meat tenderizer is also a good idea, especially if you're short on marinating time. Lightly pounding or poking the steak not only helps to decrease toughness but also helps to ensure even cooking by creating an even thickness. Just be sure not to overdo it; we’re looking to tenderize it, not annihilate it.

How to Cook Bavette Steak to Perfection

Cooking Bavette steak to perfection is all about understanding and leveraging its unique characteristics. This cut thrives under a variety of cooking methods, each enhancing its flavors and textures in different ways. Here are some top techniques to get the best out of your Bavette steak:

  • Grilling: Grilling is a fantastic way to cook Bavette steak, especially during the warmer months. Preheat your grill to a high heat to ensure a good sear and caramelized crust. Cook the steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, depending on thickness. 
  • Broiling: This is great when you want to achieve a similar effect to grilling but indoors. Preheat your broiler and position the oven rack so that the top of the steak will be about 4-6 inches from the heat source. Broil the steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, watching closely to prevent overcooking. This method quickly sears the surface, creating a beautifully charred crust while keeping the inside tender and juicy.
  • Grilling: Grilling is a fantastic way to cook Bavette steak, especially during the warmer months. Preheat your grill to a high heat to ensure a good sear and caramelized crust.
    Cook the steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, depending on
    thickness. Always let the steak rest for a few minutes after grilling to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is as juicy and flavorful as the last.
  • Reverse Sear: Perfect for thicker cuts of Bavette, the reverse sear method starts by
    slow-cooking the steak in a low-temperature oven (about 275°F) until it reaches an internal temperature of about 90-95°F. Then, sear it in a hot skillet with butter, garlic, and herbs to create a deliciously crisp exterior. This method gives you precise control over the doneness and locks in flavor.
  • Pan-Searing: For a quick and easy steak dinner, pan-searing is the way to go. Heat a
    heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium-high heat and add a splash of oil. Once hot, cook your Bavette for about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on its thickness. For an extra touch of flavor, baste the steak with butter, garlic, and fresh herbs in the
    final minutes of cooking.
  • Sous Vide: If you're aiming for unparalleled tenderness, sous vide is your best friend. Cook the Bavette in a water bath at 129°F to 134°F for medium-rare perfection, typically for 1-4 hours. This method allows the steak to cook evenly from edge to edge, reducing the risk of overcooking. Finish by searing it briefly in a hot skillet for a golden-brown crust.

Regardless of which method you choose, always use a meat thermometer to check doneness. Aim for an internal temperature of about 135°F for medium-rare, which is ideal for Bavette to maintain its texture and moisture. And remember, always let the steak rest for a few minutes after grilling to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is as juicy and flavorful as the last.

Best Recipe Ideas for Bavette Steak

Here are a few easy and mouthwatering recipe ideas that let this unique cut shine:

Marinated Bavette Steak

Enhance the natural flavors of Bavette with a simple marinade. Combine olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to create a rich marinade that tenderizes and infuses the steak with robust flavors. Marinate for several hours, or overnight for deeper flavor, then grill or broil to your desired doneness. This preparation pairs wonderfully with a fresh salad or roasted vegetables.

Easy Bavette Steak Recipe

For a straightforward yet satisfying meal, simply season your Bavette steak with salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder. Pan-sear in a hot skillet with a bit of butter and thyme, flipping once to ensure an even cook. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans for a complete meal.

Bavette Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

This Argentinian sauce is made with parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. It’s perfect for drizziling over grilled Bavette steak and adds a herby and tangy flavor that cuts through the richness of the beef. It’s especially good in the summer and goes great with a side of grilled corn or a crisp cucumber salad.

Grilled Grass-Fed Flap Steak with Sautéed Onions and Mushrooms

Grilling season is upon us, and there's no better way to celebrate than with a flavorful grass-fed flap steak, cooked to perfection and accompanied by savory sautéed onions and mushrooms. 

As for wine, a robust red like Malbec or Shiraz pairs excellently with the bold flavors of Bavette steak. If you prefer something a bit lighter, a full-bodied Chardonnay is a good choice. These wines stand up well to the rich, beefy flavor and are perfect for toasting yourself on a dinner well-made. 

Buy Fresh Grass-Fed Bavette Steak Online

Renowned for its deep, beefy flavor and satisfying texture, Bavette steak is an excellent choice grilling, broiling, or pan-searing, making it perfect for discerning diners and chefs alike. We invite you to give your at-home dining experience an upgrade with this lesser-known cut, directly from our pastures to your table.

As a premier source of high-quality, pasture-raised beef, Acabonac Farms brings you the best in taste, health, and sustainability. Meat that's traceable, ethical, free from additives, and supremely flavorful? Yes, please! Buy grass-fed bavette steak online from Acabonac Farms and taste the difference that conscientious farming makes. 

grass-fed bavette steak

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Bavette Steaks

What makes bavette steak different from flank steak?

Bavette steak and flank steak are both delicious and great for grilling, but they have a few notable differences. Bavette steak, also known as flap steak, comes from the sirloin area near the cow's lower belly. It has a looser, more open grain and is generally more tender than flank steak, which is leaner and comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. Bavette steak also tends to have more marbling, contributing to its richer flavor.

Is bavette steak the same as skirt steak?

No, bavette steak is not the same as skirt steak. While both are flavorful and have a similar fibrous texture, they come from slightly different parts of the cow. Bavette steak is cut from the sirloin area while skirt steak is cut from the plate section located further forward on the cow’s belly, below the rib. Bavette tends to be thicker and has a looser grain compared to the finer grain and more intense marbling of skirt steak.

Can bavette steak be cooked from frozen?

Yes, with a caveat. When you’re cooking meat from frozen, it's advisable to use a method that allows for a slower and more controlled cooking process, e.g. sous vide, before finishing with a high-heat sear. This helps to prevent the outside from overcooking and becoming too tough before the inside has a chance to fully thaw and cook. 

Is a bavette steak chewy?

“Chewy” often has a negative connotation with meat, so we prefer to call bavette “toothsome.” When prepared correctly (e.g. marinating & tenderizing) and cooked well, this cut is wonderfully tasty with a bit of bite. Cooking methods that allow for quick searing and minimal internal cooking, like grilling or pan-searing, help keep it juicy and flavorful. Additionally, slicing the steak against the grain breaks up the muscle fibers, further enhancing its tenderness and making it easier to chew.

Is bavette steak cheap?

Bavette steak is generally considered a more affordable cut compared to high-end steaks like ribeye or filet mignon. That said, steaks from regenerative farms like Acabonac will typically be more expensive than meat from cattle raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). This price difference reflects the more sustainable and ethical farming practices used in raising grass-fed cattle, as well as the often superior flavor and health benefits of the meat. Remember, you get what you pay for, and investing in higher-quality, ethically raised beef not only benefits your health but also supports more humane and environmentally friendly farming practices.

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