Skirt Steak with Caramelized Shallots

Skirt Steak with Caramelized Shallots Recipe

The bavette is a variation of the classic steak frites, and every bit as satisfying. The skirt steak is quickly sauteed and served medium-rare with heaps of shallots: About a cup per portion, a mat of them, richly caramelized, is spread atop the beef. A red wine jus takes the place of the herb butter, echoing the deep, rich flavors of the meat.

Skirt steak, cut from along the ribs of the animal, is fibrous. When you order it from your butcher, keep in mind that there is an inside skirt steak as well as an outside steak. At Bouchon, we use the outside cut; thicker and more uniform in size, it can stand up to longer cooking, giving you time to baste the meat and flavor it with shallots and thyme.–Thomas Keller

LC Inside, Outside, Upside Down Note

Uh, inside skirt steak? Outside skirt steak? We’re certain these things exist, and if they mean the skinny one versus the fat flappy one, then we understand. But we’ve just always happily sizzled our skirt steak up without labeling it, leaving the skinny one on the flame a few minutes less than the fat one. It’s all good, whether it’s inside, outside, even upside down.

Skirt Steak with Caramelized Shallots Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 4


  • For the steak
  • One 10-ounce piece trimmed skirt steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 teaspoons minced thyme
  • For the Red Wine Jus
  • 1 bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup diced Spanish onions (1/2-inch)
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced carrots (1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 cup sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (1/4-inch thick)
  • 1 cup sliced shallots (1/4-inch thick)
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms (1/4-inch thick)
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 6 Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 5 cups veal or beef stock
  • For the salad
  • 2 to 3 ounces watercress, large stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced chervil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Make the steak
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • 2. Season both sides of the steaks generously with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the salt and pepper will also season the shallots as they cook.
  • 3. Heat two large skillets over medium-high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil to each skillet. When the oil is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter to each skillet, swirling them to brown the butter. Add the steaks and sear the first side for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until nicely browned. Turn the steaks to brown the second side, tilt the skillets, and use a spoon to baste the meat with the oil and butter. After about 3 minutes, total cooking, remove the skillets from the heat and transfer the meat to a waiting pan. Set aside while you cook the shallots.
  • 4. Set the skillets, with the butter and oil, over medium heat. Add half the sliced shallots to each skillet, toss them in the oil and butter, and cook for about 2 minutes, until they have started to soften. Combine all the shallots in one skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the thyme, reduce the heat, and cook gently until the shallots are completely softened and golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to caramelize.
  • 5. Stir any juices that have accumulated around the steaks into the shallots, then spread the shallots over the steaks. Place in the oven to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the steaks are medium-rare.
  • Make the red wine jus
  • 6. Combine all the ingredients except the stock in a wide heavy saucepan or pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the wine has reduced almost to a glaze. Add the veal stock, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • 7. Prepare an ice bath. Strain the jus several times through a fine-mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth. Cool in the ice bath, stirring occasionally. (You can refrigerate the red wine jus for up to 3 days. Warm over low heat just before serving.)
  • Make the salad and serve
  • 8. Place the watercress in a bowl and toss with the minced shallots, herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 9. Place the steaks on serving plates and spoon about 2 tablespoons jus alongside each steak. Divide the watercress salad among the plates.
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