Grilling Steak | Essentials from the Butcher’s Counter and the Chef’s Kitchen
For us, lighting the grill is a year-round occurrence. But, we know nothing defines summer more than the sight, sound, smell and taste of a perfectly grilled steak. It is the essential dish of the season for its simplicity. All cooks should be comfortable preparing a grilled steak from start to finish: from purchasing premium quality meat to finishing off with the perfect seasoning. The rest of the meal can easily be built on this foundation, including grilled veggies, fresh salad and sides.
Featured cut: Bavette
While most home cooks are comfortable shopping for steaks that have been popularized over many years, like New York Strip and Filet Mignon, we at Blackbelly recommend an “under-the-radar” butcher cut: dry-aged Bavette. This “bistro cut” is more commonly consumed in France and it is a “thin” steak, that falls within the category of flap meat. The steak comes from the belly of the cow as an extension of the T-bone and Porterhouse. The Bavette is composed of the visceral muscles that assist the vitals. They help the vitals work but are not the tough weight bearing muscles. So, the consistency that forms within the meat provides a perfect intermuscular marbling, instead of a fat cap, making it super tender and juicy throughout.
From the Butcher:
- Ask your butcher what flap meat they have on hand, and what would be best for the grill. Hot, dry heat is recommended. If it’s a rainy summer night, and you don’t want to bear the elements, it can be cooked in a very hot pan.
- The Bavette is great for large parties since you don’t have to grill individual steaks to order. Instead, you can cook carne asada, or serve slices of meat buffet style.
- The Bavette can also be called “Sirloin Flap.” The other three visceral muscles, aka flap steaks, are: skirt, flank and hanger, and can be cooked in a similar fashion.
From the Chef:
“I love the Bavette because of its great flavor, muscle structure, ease of grilling, minimal sinew, and general consistency. It’s always an amazing, affordable and flavorful cut.” -Chef Hosea Rosenberg
Follow a few easy tips to cook the perfect steak:
- Make sure the grill is clean and scraped, lightly oil it before cooking.
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before cooking.
- Season simply and generously with salt & pepper 15 minutes before cooking.
- Cook, so it’s not too far past medium rare, at a VERY high temperature. Turn once, flip, then turn once more. Don’t move it around any further.
- Make sure to let your steak rest for half the time it cooks. When slicing, remember to cut across the grain to achieve slices that are tender, not chewy.