Simple autumnal flavours
Go for quality and flavour using grass-fed bavette steak with roast beetroot.
- SERVES: 4
- COOK TIME: 10 mins
- DIFFICULTY: not too tricky
- IDEAL FOR: weekend, special occasion, BBQ,
- BUDGET: ££
Bavette aka flank steak
There are so many names for different cuts, that it can get confusing.
Bavette is the French word for flank (steak).
It sits just below the belly, close to the hind leg.
And is a lean and very flavourful cut.
Bavette and skirt steaks can often be interchangeable as they are similar, long, and flat-shaped.
But the bavette is the superior cut.
Like the skirt, it needs careful fast, hot pan-frying and should be cooked rare and sliced thinly.
It’s also good for braising or marinating and cut thinly (across the grain)
Then there is the hanger steak (or onglet).
This steak sits in between the bavette and skirt steak and has similar beefy flavours and fibrous textures.
The differences; grass-fed, grain-fed, pasture-raised
Pasture-fed (or aka pasture-raised) is a whole new thing I’ve uncovered in my research.
Which you may start seeing on products. It’s a ‘Pasture for Life‘ certification mark which shows the animal has been pasture-fed.
So, what’s the difference?
Basically, pasture-fed or pasture-raised is when the animal is fed 100 per cent only on pasture. Simples.
But grass-fed animals can still eat other things including grains.
Most farmers ‘finish’ their animals on cereals in order to get them to the desired weight.
Sometimes animals are ‘grass-finished’ alongside grain feeding.
Pasture-fed cows not only feed on grass but munch on herbs, flowers, clover and other legumes that lurk on their pasture.
This gives a rich, intense flavour to the meat, with a slight herbal sweetness.
It’s not a prolific farming method, currently.
But keep an eye out for it.
It’s by far the best way to buy produce with the environment and animal welfare in mind.
Quality equals flavour
It comes down to flavour.
A grain-fed animal will produce muscle with more flavoursome fat.
It also is less acidic and contains a substance called lactones which produces a nice beefier flavour.
Grass-fed meat is often described as having a less beefy taste and a more grassy flavour (makes sense).
Grass-fed beef is more nutritious, better for the environment, and better for the farmer as the animals are eating more pasture.
But like I mentioned above, it doesn’t mean farmers don’t supplement in other fed sources.
It’s also leaner than the grain-fed and has higher levels of good fats such as omega 3.
It all sounds rather confusing!
But ultimately, it’s just different farming methods and differences in flavour.
So always try and buy with animal welfare on your mind.
And the environment.
btw… I never said this was going to be easy!
Key benefits of grass-fed beef in the UK
- Nutritional benefits
Grass-fed beef is thought to be nutritionally superior to grain-fed beef.
As mentioned, it has higher levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins.
2. Environmental impact
This is the big one.
Grass-fed beef is seen as more environmentally sustainable than grain-fed beef.
This is because the cattle graze on pastureland, which can have positive effects on soil health and carbon sequestration.
Having said that, it does come down to good farming practices for this to make an impact.
3. Animal welfare
Another big one for us.
You want to know that the cattle have enjoyed their life and been treated well, unlike industrial farming where they are fed in confined areas.
4. Grass-fed certification
In the UK, there are various organizations and certification bodies that provide labels and certifications for grass-fed beef.
These certifications often have specific criteria that must be met to ensure that the beef truly comes from animals raised predominantly on grass.
5. Local sourcing
Buying grass-fed beef supports local farmers and reduces the carbon footprint.
For more information on grass-fed and reasons to look more at grass-fed beef, visit here.
Grass-fed bavette steak with roast beetroot
- 1 grass-fed bavette steak (approx. 800g)
- 2 tbsp Creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp horseradish (or do it to taste)
- handful of parsley
- 1 small bunch of beetroot (try and find small – medium beettroot)
- 1 lemon
- splash of cider vinegar
- a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- Roasting the beetroot: Heat the oven to 200C. Scrub the beetroot and trim the stalks, then wrap loosely in foil and place on a baking tray.Cook for 45-50 mins or until tender (check them 20 mins into cooking and add a little water if they look dry). Once they are cooked, set them to the side while you cook the bavette steak.
- While the beetroot is roasting, in a small bowl add the creme fraiche and the horseradish to the heat you enjoy. Season with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.
- To cook your steak.Take a large frying pan and place on high heat. Make sure the pan is hot, then add a little oil.Sear the steak on both sides to get a nice brown crust, then reduce to medium heat.Cook each side for approx. 4 mins, basting it with foaming butter.If you have a meat thermometer, aim for an internal temperature of 50 C before resting.Rest for 5 – 10 mins, then slice against the grain.
- To serve, find a large serving platter and place the bavette steak on the plate with the beetroot around and dollops of your horseradish mix and garnish with parsley.