"It's not much but it's ours"

Sunday, June 29, 2008


They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues

I’ve got a beef and it’s a big one. This time a piece of bavette (aka skirt, aka flank), from master butcher Jack O’Shea (see Dos Hermanos passim). There was some fantastic looking Onglet on offer as well but the lure of a cut I’d never cooked before proved just too much.

Booty safely in hand (always a good thing) I hurried home to start preparations. I now find salting my steaks beforehand works really well. It doesn’t affect how succulent the steak ends up and I always end up with a good crust. Bavette is quite big in surface area and is relatively thin for a steak so I had to use my big grill pan and get it searingly hot before the cooking could begin.

I haven’t made a béarnaise sauce for years but I thought a rich and buttery sauce might make a good foil to a big beefy steak. I’d heard all sort of horror stories about split sauces or worse, scrambled eggs, but it was pretty straightforward. The resulting sauce could have been a tad looser in consistency but the taste was excellent.

Once the grill was white hot the steak was slapped on. One of the nice things about cuts like Onglet and Bavette is that the lack of external fat means the kitchen and adjoining rooms don’t become as smoky as an Amsterdam Café. A minute or so for each side was enough and, following my usual routine, the steak was stuck in the low oven for a few minutes.

Not unexpectedly the beef was terrific. Similar to Onglet, the taste is much stronger and the texture more interesting than the usual cuts. As suggested on the Jack O’Shea site this cut would also work for fajitas (think the extreme variety, as you’d get at a Chotchkie’s say).

There was a little bit on the side as well - a couple of roasted marrow bones (natch), a lightly dressed watercress salad – and a bottle of Rosada from Muga. A nice nod to DH’s recent trip to Haro.

The only possible improvement would have been some chips. Maybe next time.

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Blogger Will said...

Looks delicious!!!

Monday, July 07, 2008 2:32:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

Thanks. I'm finding these so called 'lesser' cuts a real eye opener in terms of flavour and texture. Must pop back down to Jack's to see what else he can come up with. I've got my eye on a bone in fillet or maybe a South American cut like Picaña.

Steak, is there nothing it can't do ?

Monday, July 07, 2008 10:39:00 pm  
Blogger Will said...

Just checking out Jacks website there, some great information (especially the video clips).

We have a huge problem over here in Ireland, we have gone health and safety crazy! It's impossible to get cuts like onglet, marrow, cheek etc... So I'm looking on very jealously at all of these off cuts!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 9:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so going to check out this butcher. I recently had the most amazing steak from a place in Shropshire which has spoiled me for anything but the very best!

BTW, I think skirt is onglet, not bavette, although the butchering is slightly different in France anyway, afaik.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 5:22:00 pm  

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