Bavette Steak Sous Vide.

Bavette Sous Vide (8 of 8)I was in a butcher’s in France recently. Anybody from Ireland or Brexit will agree that the French have a very strange way of butchering their meat. It’s very different to our approach. One cut that we agree on is called the bavette. It comes from the flank of the animal. The naming convention falls down when one goes further afield.  In the US, they call it the London broil or flap meat. London broil is also a name for a top round steak, a completely different cut of meat. It’s also a cooking method.  I don’t know about you but “flap meat” doesn’t do anything for my appetite. Bavette sounds reasonably exotic to my ear. So, back to the game in hand – Bavette Sous Vide.

I bought a 1.2 kilo piece of bavette recently. The butcher advising me to flash fry it and not to let it overcook. This is good advice for anybody wishing to fry a bavette. They really do toughen up if they stay too long on the pan. However, a couple of hours in the sous vide at 55.4ºC produces a delicious bit of meat that can be finished in the pan.

Ingredients

  • 1.2 kilo piece of bavette
  • A couple of cloves of garlic
  • A handful of thyme
  • Butter for frying
  • Salt and pepper to season

Cut the meat into pieces that will fit into a vacuum bag. Season very well with salt and pepper.

Bavette Sous Vide

Don’t be afraid of the seasoning. It can take it.

Vacuum seal the meat and place it in a water bath at 55.4ºC for  two hours. Remove from the bag and pat dry.

Bavette Sous Vide (3 of 8)

My sous vide vacuum bags were too small to take the whole cut. It’s a lot of meat.

Side note on time and temperature: I have cooked bavette at 55.4º for forty eight hours. The meat ends up very tender indeed and very juicy. However, in my experience, it is too delicate and tends to fall apart a bit. I prefer it with a bit of bite. The two hours achieves this result.

Heat a cast iron pan quite hot and add a generous amount of butter. Before the butter burns, add the beef and brown on both sides. During the process, add the garlic and thyme to the pan.

Bavette Sous Vide (4 of 8)

The bavette will brown very quickly in the butter.

Spoon the butter over the meat and rub it generally with the garlic and the thyme. Don’t leave it too long on the pan. Remove to a cutting board and carve into thin slices ,across the grain (very important), before serving.

Bavette Sous Vide (7 of 8)

It tasted as good as it looked. Delicious flap steak, bavette, or whatever you fancy calling it.

I served this, as part of a multi course meal, with some fried onions. The onions took longer to cook than the steak. Good fried onions do take a long time. But, that’s another story altogether. Give this seldom bought cut a go. It is quick and easy to cook and the end result is very tasty, no matter what you call it.

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Latest comments
  • I’m not sure Bavette is better than Flap when you know it means Bib, but on the basis that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, I must say this looks extremely tasty and tender. Once again, I lament the lack of a sous vide (but gloat at my ownership of a Römertopf).

      • Try FleaBay first, unless of course you’re doing the Weihnachtsmarkt on purpose to drink glüwein and eat gingerbread and buy sausages and muscular German beer…

  • I’ve done that with flank steak, ended up doing more like 8 hours – but 2 hours works well too, it’s just a little easier for me to stretch the time to accommodate work hours etc etc.
    I love the meat prepared this way, it is hard to go back to regular cooking once you sous-vide a bavette…

  • Flap meat does, indeed, sound a bit rude, but when it tastes as good as it does, I go with it. It also makes a nice mince for burgers.

  • You know when I read the ingredients list, I could have sworn you said 12 kilos. Any ideas what one should do with a lot of extra meat? Just asking for a friend.

  • You know I am going to, no, going to have to take your butcher’s advice also am sure to enjoy the dish just the same . . . and I better say ‘flap’ to my butcher as I don’t want him grinning at me and saying ‘ba . . ba. . . and what was the rest again’ . . . 🙂 !! Oh, I would rather have my Römertopf also !!!!

  • I think all I want to say is yum yum yum!

  • Great post, Conor. This is also called flank steak. They are very tasty and it depends on the quality of the meat and your personal preference how long to cook it. If cooked for a short time, then slicing thinly against the grain is very important indeed. Even though the texture does become quite loose, we prefer 48 hours. But the other day at work they had flank with a Korean marinade that just been seared and sliced very thinly and it was great. Perhaps I need to do another side by side.

  • I’ve done bavette for 2 hours, 8 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours and there’s nothing to convince me that 2 hours thinly sliced isn’t worth the electricity saving…

  • As someone who has yet to get into the sous vide game, I keep seeing recipes that make me want to. This is one of my favorite cuts, but I do agree it’s very easy to overcook. Sous vide is supposed to eliminate that risk. Seems too good to be true, but I’m not sure I’d have the patience to wait two hours for a steak…

  • Hey Conor,

    Love the recipe! I’m curious though.. What Sous Vide do you use?

  • I have a piece of flap meat in the fridge that I was going to put on the grill tonight but since it is raining I changed my mind. Now I’m reading your post and think I’ll prepare it your way tomorrow. Perfect timing I would say.

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