Couple of days ago I went to Arbutus in Soho and fell in love with a previously unknown to me cut of meat: bavette. Actually this is the French name - the English equivalent which sounds less posh is flap steak similar to skirt or flank steak. It is not as tender as fillet steak or sirloin, but is full of meaty flavour and if prepared carefully has a fine texture. My butcher also explained to me that another name for it is “Butchers steak” - which explains, why you don’t get to see a lot of this cut. By the way it’s priced at a quarter of a price of a fillet steak.
The best way to prepare it for me is to tenderize it slightly through by marinating overnight. Mix olive oil, chopped shallots, thyme (or other herbs you prefer), add meat, cling film and leave in the fridge over night. When ready to serve, wipe the meat clean of the marinade and season. Heat grapeseed oil (or any other oil with a high smoking point) and add a knob of butter (grapeseed oil would prevent butter from burning to quickly and you will still get the nutty flavour from the butter).
Fry the steaks for approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side, then tip some of the butter oil mixture out and add some fresh butter, crushed garlic and thyme, reduce heat and continue to fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, basting the meat with the buttery mixture. Be careful not to over fry the meat - its best served rare - heated over medium rare becomes chewy. Let rest for about 5 minutes and serve. Serve with a potato mash, brussel sprouts.
Oh, and don’t forget to cut it across the grain, otherwise you’ll have some arduous chewing to do.
Which "off-cuts" of meat do you like to cook?