Monday, January 4, 2010

Cuts: London Broil

London Broil is not a steak or cut of meat. Instead, London Broil is a method of cooking. Moreover, London Broil is not a method of cooking a steak. Instead, London Broil is sometimes used as a method of cooking a roast.

The confusion over London Broil is one of many examples of the confusing terms that are used to label beef. Butchers avoid this confusion by not relying on common terms. After all, depending on the location or restaurant, a "Delmonico Steak" may mean 8 different steaks. Therefore, to avoid confusion, butchers and other experts use the "Meat Buyers Guide", which has a standardized set of definitions with photographs and diagrams, so there is no confusion about the steak or cut of meat. It is published by the North American Meat Processors ("NAMP").

In the case of London Broil, cooks have used traditionally a variety of cuts. Today, cooks often use a top round roast for London Broil. Traditionally, however, cooks use a flank steak. There are many different recipes for London Broil. One of the better recipes follows.

Begin with a flank steak, approximately 2" thick and weighing 5 to 6 lbs. Dry its exterior, and place the steak into a shallow dish.

Prepare the marinade as follows, in order to tenderize and flavor the steak. In a covered jar or blender, combine the following ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup of salad oil
  • 1/4 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 bay leaf, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. crumbled fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 1 sprig of parsley, for garnish.
Blend the ingredients thoroughly.

Pour the marinade over the steak, turning the steak to coat it well. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 8 hours.

Approximately 30 minutes before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator, remove the steak from the marinade and set it aside, covered with foil, so that its temperature can rise to room temperature (approximately 70F).

Take the remaining marinade, cover and return to the refrigerator.

Prepare a grill of live coals for cooking.

When the temperature at the grill level is 750F, place the steak on the grill. Retrieve the marinade from the refrigerator, to use it for basting. After the steak has been on the grill for two minutes, flip the steak and brush it with marinade.

Every two minutes, flip the steak, rotate it so that it acquires distinct grill marks, and baste it with marinade.

After a total cooking time of approximatley 20 minutes -- until the steak is rare with an internal temperature of 115F -- remove the steak from the grill and cover with foil. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes.

After the steak has rested, remove it to a cutting board and slice it very thinly, at the diagonal across the grain at a 45 degree angle.

Arrange the sliced steak on a platter, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.

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