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Contrary to what many believe, London broil is a manner of preparing the meat, not actually a cut of meat. They are famous for being especially moist and tender.
London broil is a cut of flank steak or top round, generally about 1 inch thick, and is typically prepared by broiling the steak.
The trick is to cut this steak into thin slices against the grain before serving. This will ensure that the meat is easiest to cut and chew.
Because the London broil comes from the flank, it is a flavorful cut of beef. To get the best flavor and texture out of it, all London broils must be marinated, cooked to medium rare and then allowed to rest for at least five minutes to help retain juices.
The most common method for cooking a London broil is to broil it. Why else would it be called a London broil? It really isn’t rocket science.
First, do not preheat the oven. Next, place the top oven rack at its highest setting. Remove the London broil from its marinade and place it on a broiling pan, and then just slide it into the oven and set the broiler to high. Not too tough, huh?
All that is left is to cook the steak for 7-8 minutes on each side, then remove and let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing.
Although most purists believe it should only be broiled, cooking London broil on a gas grill can be just as good. Heat the grill to its medium-high setting (450 degrees). Remove the London broil from its marinade and place on the grill.
Cook for 7-8 minutes per side, or until the meat has reached medium rare or medium at most. A meat thermometer can help monitor the doneness to ensure it’s cooked to perfection. Transfer the meat to a platter and let rest for five minutes before slicing.
Try the following marinade on your next London broil. The longer you allow the steak to marinate, the tenderer and more flavorful it will be. It is common practice to allow these steaks to marinate at least 24 hours to reach optimum flavor. The longer it marinates, the richer the taste.
Basic London Broil Marinade
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
2 lb. London broil (flank steak or top round)
In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, wine, Worcestershire sauce, chopped garlic and salt. Whisk to combine. Place the steak in a large re-sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the steak. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing. Refrigerate at least 24 hours, up to three days.
Add other seasonings such as salt, pepper, herbs, mustard or garlic to give the marinade depth of flavor.
Spiced Orange Marmalade Flank Steak
Use a thinner flank steak, about one-half inch thick, for this recipe. Also, thinner flank steaks should only be marinated overnight.
3 lbs. flank steak (1/2-inch thick)
1 (12 oz.) jar orange marmalade
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsps. A-1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsps. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the steak, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Set aside one cup of the marinade. Add the steak to the remaining marinade and coat well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a small saucepan, boil the reserved marinade for 5 minutes, or until thickened to a glaze consistency.
Remove the steak from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill on direct/high heat until seared and nicely browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook meat additional two minutes.
Because of the uneven shape of the steak, it will be cooked from rare to medium-well.
To serve, brush the reserved marinade over the steak and cut against the grain into thin slices; serve warm. Makes 6 servings.
Either of the following potato recipes would be a great accompaniment to your next flank steak or London broil!
Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Pecan Butter
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsps. orange juice
1 Tbsp. stone-ground mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. freshly grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/2-inch
3 Granny Smith apples, sliced horizontally 1/2-inch, seeds removed
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Stir in all remaining ingredients except sweet potatoes and apples. Place sweet potatoes in butter mixture; toss to coat. Cover and bake for 25 minutes.
Add apples and spoon butter mixture over apples. Cover and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes and apples are tender. Makes 6 servings.
Mashed Potatoes and Rutabagas
3 lbs. rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 lbs. white potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsps. butter
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, or to taste
2 tsp. chopped parsley, optional
In separate saucepans, cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take about 30 minutes, and potatoes will take about 20-25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes.
Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg; beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 6-8 servings.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.