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Bavette With Smoked Garlic Béarnaise & Pickled Shallots

Bavette With Smoked Garlic Béarnaise & Pickled Shallots

Serves 2

The idea behind this recipe is a creative approach to classic flavors—sweet and smoke, acid and fat—that are versatile with many cuts of and preparations for beef. Other steaks work well in this dish, as do braised or roasted cuts. At The American, we often choose this preparation for Certified Piedmontese ribeye, but the bavette is my favorite, as it’s pleasantly chewy and packed with flavor.

  • 1 Certified Piedmontese bavette steak
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces whole butter
  • 1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt

Pull the steak from the refrigerator, pat dry, and let rest for 1 to 2 hours prior to cooking. Heat a cast iron pan on high for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-high. Season steak liberally with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of the oil in cast iron, place steak in the pan. Allow to sear for about 2 minutes and turn over. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes. Add another tablespoon of canola oil, butter, and thyme, and turn heat to low. The butter will start to bubble. Turn steak over and, using large kitchen spoon, baste the steak with the bubbling butter as it is infusing with thyme. Baste for only 1 to 2 minutes, then remove steak to a resting tray. Allow to rest for 5 to 7 minutes, turning over half way through. Slice, season with Maldon salt. Serve with Smoked Garlic Béarnaise and Pickled Shallots (recipes follow).

    Smoked Garlic Béarnaise

    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon Tarragon Reduction (recipe follows)
    • Hot water, as needed
    • 1½ cups Smoked Garlic Oil (recipe follows)

    Prepare a double boiler with a metal mixing bowl that rests securely atop the saucepot with a couple of inches of overhang. Fill the pot half full and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat. In the mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, Dijon, and Tarragon Reduction. Place on top of the sauce pot and whisk the egg yolk mixture over heat continuously for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is a pale yellow color and falls from the whisk in ribbons. The mixture should double in volume. Be careful that the egg does not get too hot, as it will scramble; remove the bowl from the pot throughout the process to reduce heat as needed. Place the mixing bowl on a kitchen towel to secure, and drizzle in the garlic oil while whisking continuously to emulsify. The béarnaise should be the consistency of thin mayonnaise, and taste acidic like a warm vinaigrette. If the mixture starts becoming too thick, whisk in a touch of hot water. Season with salt. Wrap with plastic and store in a warm area next to the stove until ready to serve.

      Tarragon Reduction

      • 3 cups white balsamic vinegar
      • 1 bunch tarragon
      • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
      • 1 bay leaf

      In a saucepot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Adjust to a simmer and reduce to ¾ to 1 cup. Strain and reserve.

        Smoked Garlic Oil

        • 3 cups canola oil
        • 1 headgarlic
        • Smoking wood such as mesquite, cherry, hickory

        Preheat a smoker to 300°F and add wood to smoke; any kind of outdoor barbecue will work, but if using a gas grill place wood directly on the cooking surface. Cut the garlic in half crosswise, place in a sauce pot or metal pan, and cover with oil. Place the pan in the smoker for 30 to 40 minutes. When ready, roasted garlic should be fully cooked and tender, sweet and not harsh. Remove and chill. Reserve until ready to use.

          Pickled Shallots

          • ½ cupChampagne vinegar
          • ½ cupwater
          • ½ cup sugar
          • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
          • Salt, to taste
          • 4 large shallots, sliced into ⅛-inch rings

          In a saucepot, combine all ingredients, except shallots, and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Reduce the pickling liquid to a simmer, season with salt, then add the shallots and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and chill. Reserve until ready to use.