Using our budget-friendly steak cut, this beef bavette steak recipe combines a creamy mushroom and tarragon sauce with homemade chips and a fresh watercress side salad for a weekend date night at home, or special occasions like Father’s or Mother’s Day.
1kg Welsh bavette steak, trimmed
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
small bunch of watercress, to serve
4 large floury potatoes (later cut into 1.5cm-thick chips)
2l sunflower oil
knob of butter, for frying
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
200ml double cream
A small pack of tarragon leaves picked and chopped; stems reserved
Rest the steak for 1 hr before cooking at room temperature. The steak should have an even 1cm thickness throughout, so lightly bash any thicker areas with a meat hammer or rolling pin. Scatter salt over both sides of the steak and then set aside until cooking.
For the homemade chips, bring a large pan of water to a simmer and cook them for about 10 mins. Test with a fork after 6 mins – they should be tender on the inside with slightly rough edges.
When they’re ready, gently transfer the potatoes to a wire rack using a slotted spoon and leave them to steam dry. You want them to be as dry as possible before frying them into chips.
Next, it’s time to make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small frying pan until foaming, then fry the shallots and garlic until soft, for around 5 mins. Then, add the mushrooms and cook for 1-2 mins more until they release some of their moisture.
While the veg is cooking, bring the cream and tarragon stems to a simmer in another small pan. Pour through a sieve into the pan with the mushroom mixture. Stir, then reduce the heat and continue to cook the sauce until slightly thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To fry the chips, tip the oil into a deep pan, making sure the pan is no more than two-thirds full, and ideally with a frying basket. Heat the oil to 180C. You can check the temperature of the oil by dropping in one of the chips – if it sizzles immediately, it’s ready for frying the rest of the batch. Deep-fry the chips in batches, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, for 5-6 mins per batch until golden and crisp at the edges. Tip out the chips from the frying basket onto kitchen paper (or remove with a slotted spoon) and leave to drain to get rid of any excess oil. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the steak.
Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat until smoking hot. Pat the steak until dry with kitchen paper (the salt will have drawn out some moisture), then drizzle with the oil. Cook for 3-4 mins on each side for medium-rare, or until cooked suited to your liking.
Once cooked, transfer to a wooden board or plate and leave to rest – keep warm by covering with kitchen foil. Pour any resting juices into the sauce prepared earlier.
Reheat the sauce, then, using a very sharp knife, carve the steak across the grain into 1-2cm slices (or four equal steaks if you prefer). Drizzle the sauce over the steak, then scatter over the tarragon leaves, and serve with the chips and watercress on the side.
We recommend grilling or pan-frying this steak cut as it produces the most flavourful result. Bavette steaks typically have a thin end and a thick end, which means that they will cook unevenly. Keep a keen eye out because the thinner end cooks faster than the thicker end, so you’ll have to flip the meat in the pan while cooking to ensure this doesn’t happen.