Mai Take (Hen of the Woods) is originally a mushroom from Japan and China. The Mai Take is known as a medicinal mushroom (but we’re not sure what it is supposed to cure; we just love the texture and the taste!). It can be wild or cultivated. One of our favourites is a salad with Mai Take, Shrimp, Crab, Coquilles St Jacques, Coriander, Dill and Parsley, created by Antonio Carluccio and published in 2003 in the Complete Mushroom Book. Go to your local bookstore and buy it! The book has a wealth of wonderful, simple recipes.
Bavette is beef from the flank. Other names are Flap Meat, Sirloin Tip and maybe Hanger Meat. Bavette (and other meat from the flank) is often used for stewing and poaching. Not many know it is actually very tasty and great when eaten saignant. Plus it’s not expensive at all. It is however hard to find because most butchers will use it for stews and assume their customers are not interested in it. If your butcher is a real butcher (so one that buys a complete animal and not just vacuumed bits) it’s a matter of asking.
Thyme is an essential element in the dish because it brings Bavette and Mai Take together. It’s not just a bridge between the two, it envelopes them.
We enjoyed our bavette with a glass of Verdarail, a rich wine from the south of France, with lots of red and black fruits. Spicy. A wine with a long finish and well-integrated tannins.
What You Need
- 100 gram Mai Take
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
What You Do
We’re not the world greatest carnivores. Bavette has an intense taste, so we would recommend 100 grams per person maximum.
The bavette must be room temperature. So take it out of the refrigerator let’s say 2 hours in advance. Heat a heavy iron skillet, add olive oil. Fry as you would do a normal steak, but significantly longer. We fried our 214 gram of bavette for maybe 6 minutes. Agreed, you think your lovely bavette will be overcooked, but it will be fine. Ad some butter towards the end to coat the meat. Arroser and turn frequently. Check the firmness of the beef. As soon as you feel it becomes firmer, transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
The Mai Take need a few minutes only. Fry them gently in the same pan. You may want to add some of the juices of the bavette.
Slice the bavette and serve with the Mai Take, a generous amount of fresh thyme and black pepper.