Ben Tish’s Marinated and Grilled Beef Bavette with Smoky Salad Onions
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.
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
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 ½ 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, €37.50), out now.