Bavette, a staple on French bistro menus, has stood the test of time. It still remains a favorite among Montreal diners. Also known as flank steak, it is used in Chinese beef stir fry and as carne asada (roasted meat), the star ingredient in Mexican burritos or fajitas. In central America, carne asada is served with chimichurri sauce, similar to Italian gremolta. Flank steak is a tougher cut of meat that lends will to marinating; and should be cooked rare to maintain its tenderness and succulent flavor. If you love the fresh taste of cilantro and lime, this marinade hits all the right notes.
Served as a main dish, carne asada served with rice and a simple salad will keep you out of the kitchen and give you more time to enjoy your guests. So lets take a trip south of the border for this one.
2 pounds flank steak
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 large handful fresh cilantro with stems, chopped
Salt and pepper
juice of 2 limes and zest for extra flavor
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
In a food processor, finely chop the garlic cloves. Add the seeded jalapeno pepper, cilantro and chop. Toss in the remaining ingredients and pulse on and off to blend. Set aside. If you are doing the recipe by hand, simply mince the garlic with a knife and finely dice the seeded jalapeno. Chop the cilantro leaves and stems (they have great flavor). Combine in a small bowl and whisk in the lime juice, zest, white vinegar, sugar, salt , pepper and oil. Set aside while you score the meat with a knife. Season with salt and pepper. Place the meat in a large non-reactive baking dish; and pour the marinade over the flank steak. Cover with plastic wrap; or simply spread the marinade over the steak and place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for for at least an hour or up to 8 hours.
Pre-heat a grill pan, seasoned with oil, over medium high heat. Remove the steak from the dish or plastic bag, and pat dry to remove the excess marinade . Place on the hot grill pan and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes; before cutting thin slices across the grain on a diagonal.