Feeling like firing up the barbecue? This is the perfect recipe to amp up your summer cooking, even if the weather isn't compliant.
I find bavette to be one of the tastiest cuts of beef around. Cut from the animal’s strong, well-exercised abdominal muscles, the meat should be sliced against the grain to maximise tenderness; a little brining also helps. Don’t expect melt-in-the-mouth fillet here, though. This is beef that needs a little chewing, but the flavour more than makes up for that, and the smoky onions and zingy-crunchy salsa are the perfect accompaniments. Delicious.
Ben Tish’s marinated and grilled beef bavette with smoky salad onions
- 4 x 100g pieces of beef bavette, onglet or thinly sliced rump
- 1 quantity brine for red meat (see below)
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 8 large salad onions or large, bulbous spring onions
- 1 quantity crunchy shallot and garlic salsa cruda (see below)
- olive oil, for cooking
- sea salt and black pepper
For the brine (this can be used for red meat – duck, lamb, beef, game; makes about 1 litre)
- 100g coarse sea salt
- 50g demerara sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 black peppercorns
- 4 cloves
For the crunchy shallot and garlic salsa cruda (this really simple salsa is an ace accompaniment to grilled meats and fish, adding texture, freshness and a punch of flavour; makes 50-60g)
- 1 large banana shallot, or 2 medium-sized ones, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of – lemon
- sea salt and black pepper
- To make the brine, place all the ingredients in a medium non-reactive saucepan with 1 litre of water. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring as you go to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.
- To make the salsa, just mix all the ingredients together, seasoning to taste and adding the lemon juice at the last minute.
- Place the beef in the brine and leave, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a clean bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and thyme, then leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking.
- Remove the beef from the marinade, season with salt and pepper and place on the grill in the direct heat zone. Keep a close eye on the steaks: bavette cooks quickly as it is quite thin, and it shouldn’t be cooked past medium-rare, otherwise, it’ll be tough. Grill for 2 minutes on each side to char, then move to the cooler edge of the barbecue to rest for a couple of minutes.
- Cut the onions in half lengthwise, keeping the stalks intact. Toss them with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place directly on the grill in the direct heat zone and cook for 3-4 minutes until charred and tender.
- Thickly slice the steaks and serve with the grilled onions and salsa cruda.
Extracted from Grill Smoke BBQ by Ben Tish of Ember Yard (Quadrille), out now.