This grilled bavette steak is quickly cooked over a screaming hot fire to a perfect medium-rare. It’s then topped with buttery achingly sweet caramelized shallots. Life is good!

What I love about this recipe is how drop-dead easy it is. The shallots are made ahead of time on the stove, so you’re standing facing the grill for all of 5 minutes while grilling the bavette steaks. Toss some Mexican-Style Street Corn (elote) on the grill, add a crisp salad, and you’re good as gold.–David Leite

Grilled Bavette Steaks FAQs

What is a bavette steak?

In this country, bavette steaks are perhaps one of the least-known cuts of beef, which is a shame because they’re marvelously flavorful and versatile. Bavette, which translates as “bib,” is the French name for what we know here as flap meat or flap steak. Bavettes are similar to flank and skirt steaks, and like them, it’s a boneless cut of meat from the lower part of the animal. But unlike them, it’s taken from the loin or sirloin area, making it more tender.

I can’t find bavette steaks at my grocery store. Do you know where I can find them?

I sure do. We’ve partnered with the Holy Grail Steak Co., a purveyor of A5 Japanese and American Wagyu beef. Their 8-ounce upper prime Black Angus bavette steaks, which I’ve used here, are intensely flavored and well-marbled. The meat’s loose structure makes the steaks excellent for marinating; the marinade can penetrate deeper into the steak.

How do I cook bavette steak?

Like flank and skirt steaks, bavette is best cooked quickly over high heat, and not much beyond medium-rare (130°F) or it’ll get tough.

What’s the best way to cut bavette steaks?

Since flap steaks are like skirt and flank steaks, always cut them across the grain for maximum tenderness.

What else can I do with bavette steaks?

Cut into slices, flap steak is amazing in beef fajitas and steak tacos. Also, top a cool salad with warm slices or stuff them into a slurpy hot French dip sandwich.

Can I zhuzh up this recipe a bit?

(I’ll try not to take offense to this.) Not only can you zhuzh it up, you can go crazy. Consider stirring cooked bacon bits into the shallots. Or drizzling good balsamic vinegar over everything just before serving. You could even crumble blue cheese over the steaks during their final minutes of cooking. Because these bavette steaks are so deeply flavored, they can stand up to it all.

Can I use onions instead of shallots?

Of course! Simply cut 6 ounces (170 g) of sweet onion, such as Vidalia, into 1/4-inch slices and proceed with the recipe. Or use a bit of each.

A white plate with a sliced grilled bavette steak with caramelized shallots on top, a glass of wine and olives nearby

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A white plate with steak juice and blood on it, a glass of wine and olives nearby
A white plate with a sliced grilled bavette steak with caramelized shallots on top, a glass of wine and olives nearby

Grilled Bavette Steaks with Caramelized Shallots

5 / 8 votes
What I love about this bavette steak recipe is how drop-dead simple it is. The shallots are made ahead of time on the stove so you’re standing facing the grill for all of 5 minutes while grilling the skirt steaks. The steaks have a pure beef flavor—nothing more than beef, salt, and pepper.
David Leite
CourseMains
CuisineAmerican
Servings2 servings
Calories495 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients 

For the caramelized shallots

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 7 shallots, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the bavette steaks

Instructions 

Caramelize the shallots

  • Warm the oil and melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until the butter stops foaming.
  • Add the shallots, thyme, sugar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir to coat the shallots.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are a deep caramel color, 20 to 25 minutes.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If the shallots start to brown too quickly, they’ll burn and become bitter. A splash of cold water will cool the pan and get you back on track.

  • Scrape the shallots into a small bowl and let cool. They can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.

Make the bavette

  • Prepare your gas or charcoal grill for two-zone grilling aka direct/indirect method.
  • Generously season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Grill the steaks over direct heat for 2 minutes or until you see a sear develop. (Take a peek by carefully lifting the edge with long-handled tongs.)
  • Flip the steaks over and grill for another 2 minutes.
  • Slide the steaks over to indirect heat and close the cover of the grill. Check the internal temperature after 5 minutes. You’re aiming for a temperature of 125 to 130°F (52 to 54°C) at the thickest part.
  • Transfer the steaks to a plate, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Warm the shallots

  • While the steaks are resting, transfer the shallots to a small skillet. Place the skillet over indirect heat and close the grill cover to allow the shallots to warm through.

Serve the steaks

  • Slice the flank steaks against the grain. Serve with the shallots on top or in a small bowl on the side. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 495 kcalCarbohydrates: 17 gProtein: 51 gFat: 24 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 151 mgSodium: 171 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 8 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2022 David Leite. Photo © 2022 David Leite. All rights reserved.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    To the best of my knowledge this was the first time I ever had Bavette Steak and now I am a huge fan. The steak is incredibly tender, juicy, and delicious – and amazingly quick and easy to prepare. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the shallots – a nice contrast with the full flavor of the steak.

    For me, a fairly generous sprinkling of sea-salt and a bit of pepper – cooked rare to medium rare and WOW – Bavette is my new steak love.

  2. 5 stars
    Nice recipe, and I might add that in my experience in France a bavette is always served with chips!