Steak Bavette with Shallots (“bavette a l’achalotte”)

This is a classic French preparation for steak with shallots.

Steak Bavette with Shallots (“bavette a l’achalotte”)

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serves 2


  • 4 cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil, plus 1 tablespoon separated
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more as needed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon dry red wine plus ¼ cup (separated)
  • 1 cup flavorful stock (veal, beef, chicken, vegetable)
  • 2 steaks 1″-1&½” thick, 10 oz each (preferably an outside cut skirt or hanger (onglet). but a flavorful rib eye or a new yor
  • 1 tablespoon italian parsley, chopped


1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat a 10–12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and oil. Once the butter melts add all the shallots and stir to coat well. Turn the heat to medium. Continue stirring often so that the shallots cook evenly.
3. After 3–4 minutes the shallots should be quite soft and beginning to caramelize. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the sherry vinegar. Continue to cook and stir until the vinegar is nearly reduced to nothing and absorbed into the shallots. Add 2 tablespoons of the red wine and repeat the process. When the shallots have become somewhat jammy in consistency remove them from the pan and transfer to a plate.
4. Add the remaining ¼ cup wine to the pan to de-glaze. Once all the bits of onion a have loosened from the bottom of the pan and the wine has reduced down to about 1 tablespoon add the stock. Continue reducing until about ½ cup of red wine jus remains. Pour this through a strainer and set aside in a warm place.
5. Season the steaks well on both sides with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high and add another tablespoon canola oil to the same skillet you used for the shallots. When the oil is good and hot slide the steaks into the pan. I use the 3‑second rule. If you cannot hold your hand 4 inches above the hot pan for more than 3 seconds, then the temperature is good.
6. Drop in a pat of butter, basting the steaks as it melts. Sear them for 2 minutes before turning them over. They should be nicely browned.
7. Turn the heat to medium (the iron pan will retain a lot of heat) and cook the steaks an additional 4 minutes.
8. Transfer the steaks to a jelly roll pan and set them aside while you prep the shallots.
9. Return the shallots to the iron skillet. Add the red wine “jus”, a tablespoon of butter and the chopped parsley. Stir to combine and turn the heat off. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Possibly a little more vinegar, though be judicious with the vinegar.
10. Pour any of the juices that have accumulated on the baking sheet with the steaks into the skillet of shallots. Place the steaks into the oven for about 4 minutes for rare and 5 minutes for medium rare. 2 minutes longer if you prefer medium. Any longer than that and you might as well throw the steaks in the garbage. I am serious!
11. To serve: Transfer the steaks to dinner plates and heap the shallots on top of each steak. The more the better. I like about a cup per person. You might as well use them all. Pour any remaining liquid evenly divided between both plates. Give it a big grind of black pepper.
12. Let the steaks rest for several moments while you dress some greens with a simple herby vinaigrette. You may also serve this with a big helping of frites on the side.