Perfectly Seared Beef Bavette

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Perfectly Seared Beef Bavette - Holistic Squid

I am drawn to food lovers as friends. Many times, my friends will call or text with a few hours notice that they’ll be in my neighborhood around dinner time and couldn’t possibly brave the wilds of Los Angeles traffic. So, impromptu dinner at mi casa it is! What I’m about to share with you is an elegant, easy, and delectable way to share a spontaneous dinner with friends.

First, ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession: It may not be en vogue, but I absolutely love a nice steak. I like it rare and I like it often. I am a big fan of less expensive cuts of meat prepared to yield a fine dining experience. Usually, this means slow cooking which translates to pre-planning. We don’t always have this luxury.

The flank steak, known by the French as bavette, is a long flat cut of beef taken from the abdominal muscles of a cow. A well exercised cut – especially when from a cow raised on pasture – and so it makes a relatively tough cut of beef. Thus, many recipes for flank steak call for marinating, braising, or other such moist cooking methods. However, as in many instances, the French have it – the best way to prepare flank steak is searing.

This tender and yet intensely meaty-tasting entree takes me roughly 15 minutes to prepare. Hardly enough time for the wine to breath. When serving, slice it up at the dinner table for a little show-stopping, mouth-watering display of your hosting talents.

Seared Beef Bavette Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 lb. bavette/flank steak – buy grassfed beef here
  • coarse ground black pepper (enough to coat steak)
  • unrefined sea salt (enough to coat steak) – find it here
  • 2 tablespoons tallow from cows raised on pasture
  • 1 tablespoon butter from cows raised on pasture

Seared Beef Bavette Method

  1. Allow the bavette dry with paper towels.
  2. Coat both sides of the bavette liberally with unrefined sea salt (find it here) and coarse ground black pepper. Be generous. You are creating a crust.
  3. Add tallow and butter to a cast iron skillet and get the skillet searing hot. The tallow will keep the butter from burning. You’ll likely need to turn on your vent hood for this.
  4. Just as the oil seems it will begin to smoke, lay the bavette in the pan. Allow the bavette to sear on either side undisturbed for 3-7 minutes depending on the level of doneness you desire. Use a meat thermometer to measure the center temp:
    Perfectly seared beef bavette - Holistic Squid Rare = 120F
    Medium Rare = 125F
    Medium = 130F
    NOTE: Do not take the bavette past medium as it will continue to cook when taken off the heat source.
  5. Place the bavette on a wooden board or serving platter and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes. This is the hardest part for me but, allows the juices to run back through the meat instead of escaping.
  6. Slice in thin strips across the grain when serving.

Active Time: 10 minutes

Yields: A gorgeous dinner.


- This post was generously contributed by Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee. Check back next Friday for more delicious recipes from Monica that will make your mouth water and your tummy purr. If you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, Real Food Devotee can make your life easier by delivering nutrient dense goodies directly to your door.
Image credit: Clairity

 Do you have a favorite easy, elegant solution for impromptu meals? Tell us about it below!


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  1. Andrea Yeager via Facebook says

    I’m not sure the kids will love it, but Sean and I make a mean blue cheese butter for a steak condiment/topping :)

  2. says

    I just bought my very first grass feed ground beef and organic chicken from them at the Torrance Farmers Market, last week! Awesome. I am super new to Traditional Foods, but learning fast and loving all of it! :0)

  3. says

    that blue cheese butter sounds wonderful!!!!! yum!!!
    I love dey dey’s best beef ever for beef and chicken! The owner, John DeBruin is a wonderful and interesting human being!

    For the kids, try slicing up this beef in a lovely coconut flour tortilla. I think they might like and you and daddy can eat in style while the kiddos enjoy their din din too:)

  4. says

    I have never tried cooking this cut of meat in this way. I guess I was always afraid it would be tough and dry. I will have to try it! I love simple. :) And yes, the blue cheese suggestion sounds wonderful!

  5. jonas says

    Hi – I have some experience with both Bavette (the sirloin flap) and Flank steak (belly), these are two different cuts of the cow! I definitely prefer the flavor of Bavette, though it has more ‘chew’ to the texture and overcooking must be carefully avoided – no simmering or standing on heat etc. Bavette is perfect seared on cast iron a few minutes and then ‘rested’ covered on a warm plate.

    The grain of Flank (belly) runs the opposite way, and will give completely different results, with a more yielding, less ropey texture and yet somehow takes better to short braising without overcooking. I would suggest finding a better butcher if they tell you all these cuts are the same, there is some real mis-information out there and that’s not fair to anyone following a recipe.

  6. chris says

    As i live in Provence, I’ve had bavette several times in restos.
    As I’m a Brit, this cut is normally what I’d use for steak and kidney pie or pud.
    Thanks for bridging that gap. My first-time effort was edible!

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