Bavette is a cut of steak that is hugely popular in France but is pretty neglected in the UK. Here it is known as skirt steak and usually ends up being braised or minced up and made into burgers.
That is a shame, because although a slightly tough cut, skirt is full of flavour and is a bargain. Griddled it works best served rare, but it is also good for heavily flavoured dishes, such as fajitas, where skirt is the traditional cut.
Skirt is also great for those Thai beef salads where the meat is briefly seared and allowed to cool before it is thinly sliced and served with some salad leaves, cucumber, tomato and a chilli-rich, lime juice based dressing.
Anyway, tonight we just had a simple griddled rare bavette, with home-made frites, some sautéed mushrooms and a salad, with Dijon mustard on the side.
To drink, we had a wine that in flavour is almost a perfect equivalent of those generous, fruity southern French reds that end up as the basic pichet of rouge. It was the 2007 Côtes du Ventoux, Chat-en-Oeuf by Paul Boutinot.
It is a good, no-frills typical Rhône red, made from Grenache and Syrah, and is excellent value. The name is a pun on Châteauneuf, as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The AOC Côtes du Ventoux is a good appellation and the wines are well worth seeking out because they are a step up from basic AOC Côtes du Rhône.