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Seared steak with pancetta and blackberry vinegar

Marinading bavette steak with blackberry vinegar adds a fab almost gamey taste and if you haven’t tried this cut before, you’ll be wowed by the price at around half that of sirloin or rib eye steak. 

Serves 4

Prep: 20 minutes
Marinade: overnight
Cook: 3-6 minutes

2 x 250g (9oz) Bavette beef steaks
6 tablespoons blackberry vinegar, see recipe below
salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons blackberry vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon runny honey


1 green or red tipped chicory, leaves separated
100g (4oz) pack mixed red chard, lambs lettuce and pea shoots
100g (4oz) radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
150g (5oz) blackberries
12 rashers sliced smoked pancetta
4 teaspoons olive oil

1.       Add the steaks to a large shallow plastic box, china or glass dish then spoon over the blackberry vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or clingfilm and chill overnight.

2.       To make the dressing, add the blackberry vinegar, oil, honey and a little salt and pepper to a jam jar, screw on the lid and shake together well then decant to a small jug. 

3.       Add the chicory, salad leaves and sliced radishes to a large shallow salad dish and sprinkle over the blackberries.

4.       Preheat a ridged frying pan if you have one, or an ordinary one if not. Add the pancetta and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes turning the rashers once until the fat is golden. Lift out of the pan then reserve.

5.       Drain the steaks and rub with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, turning once for rare or 4-6 minutes for medium. Take out of the pan and leave to stand for 4-5 minutes then thinly sliced. Halve the pancetta slices then add the steak and pancetta to the salad. Drizzle over the dressing and serve immediately with warm ciabatta bread. 

Blackberry vinegar

Roughly crush 225g (8oz) blackberries in a bowl with a vegetable masher. Transfer to a large jam jar and pour on a 350ml (12 fl oz) bottle Cabernet Sauvignon red wine vinegar. Mix well then screw the lid on tightly. Leave at room temperature for 2 days, shaking the jar once or twice a day then strain into a bottle and store in the fridge. Use within 3-4 weeks.

Cook’s tip

You might also like to add a splash of blackberry vinegar to the gravy for roast lamb, pork or roast pheasant.

If you can’t find bavette steak in your local supermarket check on line for Waitrose or use sirloin steak instead and trim off the fat after cooking.