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Jul 24, 2002 06:50 AM

bavette - what cut is this?

  • f

A friend asked, and though I've had a bavette I have no idea. Immediately thought of chowhound, of course. So -- what part of the cow is this? Is it more commonly known by another name?

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  1. I have seen this with a couple of different terms added to it. bavette aloyau, which was described as thin flank gooseskirt and bavette flanchet, which is flank steak. But the operative term here is flank steak.

    2 Replies
    1. re: WLA

      I've seen it on the menu, but never in a place where i was willing to "experiment"

      1. re: WLA

        It is a cut of beef called and sold wholesale as flap meat. You may see it in a butcher shop/supermarket as sirloin tip as it runs from the sirloin(hip) through the flank. The flank is clearly where the flank steak comes from lol and right next to it is flap meat. It eats like a thick skirt steak. This is the cut you will chances are be eating if you buy steak on a stick, or beef skewers etc at a good butcher shop. It is delicious and can be grilled as is, although it could be tough if not high quality. It is a great steak to marinate and grill and is more forgiving than a skirt steak which can overcook fast if not careful. It is a real nice piece of meat. Not sure where the term bavette steak came from but it has a nice ring to it!

      2. Bavette is also the sirloin tip. And in Italy, it's ALSO narrow ribbons of pasta! Odd that a relatively obscure food word should have two completely different meanings.

        1. Unfortunately (like Humpty-Dumpty) meat dealers make words mean whatever they want. Take "chateaubriand" as an example. Many markets call a sirloin tip a "chateaubriand"...or almost any other cut of meat. When called on it, they always have some double-talk. One market we used to have had a "Diamond Jim roast", a "butcher steak" (which could be anything), "velvet steak", and "filet of bavette" (whatever that is), and so on. I think that D.A. regs require they tell you at least the part of the steer the cut is from. Recently, I was in a market that called a whole, untrimmed beef tenderloin in the bag a "filet mignon". When I called him on it, he looked at me like I was crazy. And yet, some fool thinks he's getting five pounds of "filet mignon."

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jim H.

            --One market we used to have had a "Diamond Jim roast", [etc.[ ... -- You're talking about dear departed Petrini's in the Bay Area, right? They certainly did take linguistic liberties.

          2. Dear Foodfirst,

            According to "The Chef's Companion", bavette is either sirloin tip or flank steak.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ronr

              I've seen this term on a menu and wanted to know what it means. In my search I found that bavette can be a pasta, meat and even a corsete. Which leads me to understand that it has something to do with the waist area and/ or something that is long flat (ie.meat or pasta). It seems to be a shape not a portion of meat.

              Thank you

              1. re: Damon Ewasko

                I think bavette is what Merle Ellis in his book "Cutting Up in the Kitchen" calls a hanging tender or hanger steak. In France it is called onglet. A delicious cut when not not cooked beyond medium rare.

                1. re: Jeremy Newel

                  no, bavette and onglet are not the same thing.

                  French butchery is pretty significantly diferent than American butchery --

                  this diagram from

                  shows the difference:

                  Onglet and bavette come from the same general area, but they're not the same creature.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    "....but they're not the same creature."

                    Is one horse? ;-)

                    1. re: PhilD

                      only if you bought it from Spanghero, but even then they'll tell you it's beef!

            2. Bavette is from the sirloin, the area between the porterhouse and the hind leg. It is called flap meat or bottom sirloin flap or steak tips depending on the market. It's all bavette.