Does N.America "do" bavette steaks? ..recommended budget cut to try.

Folks, this is a cut we eat in france a lot, that is a “cheap cut” we eat when stopping off for a rest / car charge at supermarket grill restaurants, & at home when we can get a good one (UK) it is sorely underutilised here but being an “open” steak absorbs marinade well, would make an excellent philly cheesesteak baguette with DECENT homemade or better food store offerings of cream cheese, not the kraft variety, something with solid resistance to the knife that is heavy on the cream :wink:

Wife was at a “posher than average” uk supermarket (M&S, Marks & Spencer) aged bavette steaks for £2.50 / $3.17c …now bavette is not an american portion, more a snack steak for you lot but a good meal steak for us lot, 38 minutes (as stated they are a bit of a ragged & uneven cut based on the area of the steer) normal finish in the pan, I just used roasting salt to sous, & butter in the pan for 30 seconds per side pressed down slightly for a change, (if you saw you’d likely understand why) …now this is the steak daughter & I go bleu with (tip, if in france at a hypermarche, the restaurant is cheap, has bitter choc with decent coffees, serves wine, does decent crepes & pastries, you really NEED to try them as a planned rest stop)
Result was a beautifully rare flavour bomb of a grass fed steak par excellence with a decent oiled salted & baked potato with cheesey coleslaw & cream cheese.

Wife loves these because she enjoys a sirloin, these are a bottom sirloin & close to flank, invariably uneven typically 2-4 lbs across a carcass, so not the common even cut, which obviously affects consistency of cook, BUT with a basic herb salt the flavour has won my wife over from Medium finish not many steaks back to most definitely rare & thoroughly enjoying it bordering on blue, & this is over an estimated 7 most recent steaks (as my daughter said on a videocall just now, “there’s hope for mum in france” :rofl: )

I have no doubt that in Canada I could easily find bavette steak, but wouldn’t know what to look for in american butchery cut terminlogy!?

Edit: dug the label out of the soft plastics recycling (to add some context price v weight) steaks weighed 162g each.

Cut 1185A Loin, Bottom Sirloin Butt, Flap Steak (IM) from Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications? Bavette, a parochial adjective - like picanha for top sirloin cap.

Is hanger / hangar another name for it / regional variant?

When I saw Douglas’ chart, it made me think of Tri-tip, which is popular here in California but apparently not known too well in the rest of the US. What I don’t know is whether the Bavette is a trimmed Tri-tip (a Tri-tip has an irregular shape) or a distinctly different portion of the bottom sirloin. I’ll sous vide Tri-tip at 130 F/54 C for 6 hours, first applying a rub, then a sear afterwards. Grilling a Tri-tip might take over an hour at a low flame. Photos of uncooked Bavette steak look very much like the grain, fibers, and marbling of a tri-tip. If your travels ever take you to the Central Coast of California (e.g. Santa Maria), you’ll find tri-tip purveyors selling off a grill in parking lots.

I am friendly with a fellow rugby head (cauliflower eared prop forward) who is a butcher at a wholesaler, will give him a call & see if he can oblige, frankly though whilst bavette is hard to find here AGED is cranking the situation up a notch thus the pleasurable surprise at wife coming home with the bavette.

My suspicions “were” leaning towards fajita / carnita style meat dishes that would likely be part of this cut!? (showing my ignorance, non explored as wife is hot food sensitive & sadly doesn’t understand the melange of flavours associated with a decent thai green curry versus the heat ingredient) inclusive to pad out the open grain, which imho there is so much base flavour to this cut it would be sacrilege to “sauce up” I guess we like to taste our meat as meat first & foremost, it was the type of cut served in french schools when I was there, along with horse …back in the day.

So i’ll give him a call & check availability & provenance, pretty certain i’ve seen tri-tip there before as they deal to catering crowds.

In france the tri-tip is “Aiguillette baronne”
In Germany, “Bürgermeisterstück”
It is a european wide select cut imho, of course the internet has changed a lot of things compared to regional “either you know it or you don’t” of the past.

Whilst I have been knocking back my meat consumption, the flavour in the bavette (bib steak) in the aged form has knocked me sideways, i’m going back to the store to stock up, …small but tasty, I really didn’t need to cut across the grain either, a visceral delight.

I rested mine compared to the wifes as I was “experimenting” with the new airfyer only baked spud versus the microwave baked potato setting to get it started, oiled versus unoiled, in order to haphazardly learn the ambiguities of the new machine, mine retained far more juices whist the wifes leaked juices all over, …dogs were happy though.

I note that the amount of in bag juices was minimal compared to other steaks.

Is this the sort of meat that you see aged over the pond? …if not ask a butcher to do you a favour.

Thanks for the info; I am not aware that tri-tip in the US is aged or not, I rather suspect it is not. I suppose I could clear out the downstairs refrigerator for a couple months and try dry aging myself, although that would certainly have an extremely low “spousal acceptance factor.”

ALL US commodity beef is aged unless specifically marked or ordered as “fresh”. Typically, IIRC, wet aged 28 days.

thanks for the clarification

Yes, we have bavette steaks in the US and they are called Flank steaks. I’ve also heard it called flap or bib steak. Unfortunately, like a lot tof other cuts like the hanger and skirt, they are no longer unknown cuts and have become popular and therefore are no longer cheap.

I suppose if you go to a butcher and buy a bavette steak at regular price it is cheaper than beef tenderloin or a ribeye. However, those cuts can often be found on sale if you shop around as they are more widely available.