For a long time, I thought a good steak meant splurging at a bistro/steakhouse or buying a crazy expensive cut of meat from the butcher. I didn’t really grow up in a steak type of family – we were more a stir-fry beef with broccoli type house. However, I’ve recently discovered a steak cut and recipe that is both amazingly delicious and inexpensive. It’s the bavette cut, or flap steak, that comes from the bottom sirloin butt cut of beef and is typically pretty thin (about 1 inch). It’s very flavourful, and you’ll probably see it on a bistro menu for north of $25 bucks a pop, but now you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost.
Gluten-free eating can already be super expensive – I’ve resigned to paying over $6 for my gluten-free bread a long time ago. It now feels normal but in the beginning, I would rage about the insane mark up on GF groceries. The bavette cut is a generally inexpensive cut, so you can get your steak on without breaking the bank.
The beauty of steak bavettes is their thin, flavourful cut. It’s a tougher cut of meat, but with some marinating, steak spice, and a hot grill pan, you’re set for a tasty meal. Just be warned that this cut is best rare (but not too rare). I personally love my steak medium-rare, and I like it with a simply dressed salad on the side.
The original recipe is from a great cookbook from Garde Manger by TV chef Chuck Hughes, named after his restaurant in Montreal’s Old Port. We went to this place a few years ago and this steak brings back fun memories of listening to DMX, Nirvana, and Cyndi Lauper while watching his tattooed chefs shuck oysters behind the bar. Bon appetit.
Steak Bavettes (Flap Steak)
- Cast iron skillet
- 2 bavette flap steaks (about 1/2 lb each)
- canola oil for grilling
- 2 teaspoons steak spice (see recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary or leaves of 1 fresh rosemary sprig (finely chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or leaves from 1 fresh thyme sprig (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon dried mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- In a large bowl or large plastic resealable bag, combine marinade ingredients and whisk together. Add steaks and turn so they are well coated in marinade. Cover/seal and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, combine steak spice ingredients in a mortar and pestle and crush. This makes more steak spice than is needed for this recipe - store any extra steak spice in airtight container.
- Remove steaks from marinade and discard any extra marinade. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season each side with 1/2 teaspoon of steak spice. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium high heat and add canola oil.
- Once pan is hot, add steaks and cook for 4 minutes on one side, and then flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Remove from heat and loosely cover with foil and allow meat to rest for a few minutes before serving.