Peppered Bavette Sandwiches with Chive Yogurt Relish

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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Bavette β€” skirt or flank steak - makes terrific pocket-bread sandwiches; great picnic food which can be made entirely on the barbecue. Mustard and Worcestershire sauce are not very Mediterranean, but they make a fine marinade for beef or lamb. Bavette needs very little cooking for, if well done, it becomes unpalatably tough. If you don’t feel like making the bread, use shop-bought pitta. This is something well worth always having to hand in the freezer - where it keeps perfectly for a month or more before starting to dry out. Alternatively, you could use shop-bought tortillas.

Instead of beef, lamb neck fillet can be butterflied to make steaks which can be marinated and grilled in exactly the same way and which take about the same time. When you buy neck fillets they will have been trimmed into roughly cylindrical shapes. Cut from the side down the length of the fillet and almost all the way through, so it folds open into a postcard-sized rectangle. Trim the outside seam and proceed as for bavette.


  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 4 skirt or flank steaks, each weighing about 150 g/5Β½ oz
  • 450 g/1 lb basic Olive Oil Bread dough
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • bunch of coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and coarsely ground black pepper

For the Chive Yogurt Relish

  • handful of chives
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz thick plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Β½ tsp pepper
  • cayenne pepper



The day before: make a marinade with the juice of one of the lemons, the Worcestershire sauce and the mustard. Brush the steaks with this paste, put into a zip-lock bag with the remaining marinade and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or preferably overnight. If you can, turn and shake the bag a couple of times during that time, but don’t bother getting up in the middle of the night to do so.

Next day, about 1Β½ hours before you plan to start cooking: make the dough and divide it into 4 balls. Dust with flour, cover and leave to rise. Knock down and roll out 2 pieces (the other 2 pieces will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days in a zip-lock bag, or may be frozen) very thinly. Alternatively you can also roll the dough through a pasta machine. Cut each into a 18 cm/7 in round. Put to rest on a floured surface, covered with a cloth, at room temperature for 1 hour.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator, take them out of the bag and put them on a tray to allow to come back to room temperature.

About 30 minutes before serving: dice the cucumber and tomatoes, peel and chop the onion, and chop the coriander leaves. Make a salad with the diced cucumber, tomatoes, onion and coriander leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper and dress with a little olive oil and the juice of half the remaining lemon.

Make the yogurt relish: finely chop the chives and garlic. Fold these in to the yogurt with the salt and pepper. Dust the top with a little cayenne pepper.

Heavily pepper the steaks with mignonette (coarse) pepper and sprinkle with salt.


Preheat a heavy frying pan and a ridged grill pan (or use a barbecue).

Cook the breads by laying them in the hot dry pan and pressing them down with a spatula to encourage them to balloon. Cook for about 1 minute on each side. Wrap in a cloth and keep warm.

Grill the steaks on the ridged grilling pan for 3β€”4 minutes on each side. Cut into strips.


Cut the breads in half, open out the pockets and fill them with meat and salad. Offer the chive yogurt at the table for people to spoon into the sandwiches if desired.

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