Bavette Steak With Tomato-Cumin Vinaigrette
by Molly Stevens, Cooking Teacher & Author, , Burlington, Vt.
A tomato-based vinaigrette is an unexpected and delicious way to sauce a meaty bavette steak. As the steak rests after cooking, the brightly flavored vinaigrette warms in the savory pan drippings. It’s a match made in heaven.
- 1 (16-ounce) Certified Piedmontese bavette steak
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil (or other neutral-flavored vegetable oil)
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh tomato
- 1 heaping tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin seed, lightly toasted and finely ground
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the tomato, capers, shallot, vinegar, and cumin seed. Season lightly with salt and pepper (you will season it later after combining it with the salty pan drippings). Stir in the olive oil, and set aside.
Position a rack near the center of the oven and heat to 375°F. Let the steak sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
Place a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat to pre-heat. Sprinkle the steak generously all over with salt and pepper, turning the steak and pressing the seasonings so they adhere. Once the pan is hot, increase the heat to high and add the oil to the pan, tilting to coat. When the oil begins to shimmer, after about 15 seconds, place the steak in the skillet. Let it sear without disturbing. After 2 minutes, lift the edge of the steak to check if it’s well seared. If so, flip and smear the top with butter. (If the steak isn’t browned yet, continue to sear for another 45 seconds and check again.)
Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven. After 8 minutes, start checking for doneness either by touching the meat (the steak firms up as it cooks) or by taking the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Baste with pan juices each time you open the oven, and check again every 2 minutes until done to your liking. Depending on what degree of doneness you’re after and how often you open the oven to check, expect it to take anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 115°F and 120°F for rare, 120°F for medium-rare, and 125°F for medium.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board—preferably one with a trough—to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately, add the vinaigrette to the still-hot skillet, stirring to combine with the drippings. Stir in the parsley. Taste for salt, pepper, and vinegar. Carve the steak into ¼-inch thick slices, cutting across the grain. Add any carving juices to the vinaigrette. Serve, spooning a little vinaigrette over each plate and passing any extra sauce at the table.
Pairing: A full-bodied red, such as a Rhône-style blend.