Inexpensive, Easy and Full-Flavored
- Servings: 4 to 6.
London broil is not so much a cut of meat but a way of cooking it when a piece of beef is marinated, broiled and then sliced thin on the bias. In some butcher shops and meat departments, London broil is synonymous with "flank steak." But as flank steak has become more expensive, other cuts, including top round, bottom round and chuck are butchered to be sold as London broil.
Regardless what the actual cut of meat is, London broil comes from the part of the cow's body where the meat is prone to being tough. Thus even though it's sometimes called a "steak," it is not cooked, sliced, or eaten like a strip, rib eye, porterhouse or other tender cut of beef.
Because it's from a tougher part of the animal, London broil is significantly less expensive than other cuts of beef, making them a popular and affordable option for city cooks. As a comparison, an aged boneless strip steak can cost $25.00 per pound whereas London Broil is easy to find at $6.00 to $8.00 per pound.
When a piece of beef is cut to be sold as London broil, most butchers cut it about 12-inches long and about 2-inches thick. A typical London broil steak that is available at most butchers will weight about 2 pounds. Key to preparing London broil is how it is sliced -- always against the grain, on the bias.
- 1 2-to-3 pound London broil
- Remove the meat from the refrigerator and place on a large plate.
- Generously salt both sides of the steak and let it come to room temperature, which will take about 1 hour.
- During this time, the salt will cause liquid to be pulled from the meat.
- When you're ready to cook, discard any liquid, rinse the steak, and pat it dry using paper towels.
- Salt (yes, again) and pepper both sides of the steak and place on a broiling pan or else a rack set on a rimmed sheet pan.
- Preheat your broiler.
- Place the steak under the hot broiler about 4-inches below the heat source.
- Broil for 10 minutes per side.
- The steak is done to medium rare when it has an internal temperature of 130º F. Use an instant thermometer to check for doneness.
- Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. If you skip this step, all the juices will run out of the meat if you cut it too soon.
Tip: America's Test Kitchen experts say to generously salt the piece of beef, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit in your refrigerator for 3 or so hours (they say this can be done for up to 24-hours but I can't vouch for the result). This salting helps temper the cut's strong flavor by pulling some liquid out of the meat.
Tip: London broil is a good cut of beef to marinade in advance. Flavors that work include chili, garlic, cumin, oregano, ginger and soy sauce.
Slicing and Serving London broil
If you attempt to serve and eat London broil like another steak, you will find it almost inedible for its toughness and stringiness.
But all you have to do is simply slice the beef on an angle that is against the grain and it will be fine. It is also important to cut thin (about one-half inch) slices as this, too, will counter its toughness.
Thin slices of London broil is a great choice for steak sandwiches, fajitas, salads, or served on its own with horseradish or a horseradish-cream sauce made by adding white grated horseradish -- fresh or from a jar -- to sour cream or whipped cream.