I hope this doesn’t piss off the London Broil Council (there is a council for everything, did you know that?), but up until now I have never understood why london broil was such a popular cut of meat. Rumor was that it was great grilled or broiled (really, as it should be, right?) or seared, but most of the time when making it I ended up with a tough steak, one that my family chewed politely for way too long. And sometimes not that politely.
But I wasn’t giving up, not when there were stacks of london broils in the market, and so attractively priced. The answer turned out to be a combo of tenderizing and marinating, and now I get it. And while the words “cheap steak” aren’t the ones I would ever use to describe this meal to my guests, I can have the pleasure of knowing that I saved some serious cash while making a big old steak dinner for family and friends.
How to Marinate London Broil:
Tenderizing the Meat:
A couple of things will help make london broil, an often tough cut of steak, more tender. You can use a traditional mallet-style meat tenderizer and give the steak a good pounding. Or you can try this funky little bladed meat tenderizer press (below) to get the meat ready for marinating, which makes hundreds of tiny cuts in the meat to soften the meat fibers and also allow the marinade to get right in there. So, not only does the process of tenderizing the meat do just that, but it also allows the flavors of the marinade to penetrate more deeply.
London Broil Marinade:
The acid in the marinade, in this case lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, also help to break down the tough fibers and make the steak more tender. The small amount of honey provides a touch of sweetness, and helps it caramelize on the grill, the soy sauce offers up savory, salty umami-ness, and the garlic provides…well garlickiness.
Marinating London Broil:
Place the meat in a container with the marinade and marinate the meat for about 6 hours in the fridge (you can marinate it for up to a day).
How to Grill London Broil:
How you cook this cut of meat is key. You want to keep your london broil rare for best results – overcooking it will result in a tough steak. Grill it over high heat for just 4 to 5 minutes per side, presuming it’s about 1 1/4 inches thick. That amount of time gets you to medium-rare, which is really how this steak should be cooked to achieve maximum tenderness. 125°F is the internal temperature you are looking for (make a small investment in a meat thermometer – you’ll be so glad you did!).
Let the Meat Rest:
Let the steak sit for 5 minutes to reabsorb juices and finished “cooking” off the fire – this post-heat resting stage is important for all meat, especially ones that need help in the tenderness department. Letting the steak rest for at least 5 minutes will absolutely affect the difference between a tough and a tender london broil.
Slice the Steak Against the Grain:
Unless you are shredding meat, you almost always want to cut it against the grain for maximum tenderness and juiciness, and it’s definitely true for london broil.
This is now definitely part of the regular summer rotation, and a very economical way to offer a grilled steak fest for a crowd.
Below, Gary and the Tramp. Or Cooper as he’s better known.
Marinated and grilled londoin broil is absolutely great served up with this Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing. Also, should you want to make this under the broiler, in a grill pan, or even in a panini press, it will work beautifully.
Marinated and Grilled London Broil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 pound London broil at least 1 inch thick, preferably 1 ½ inches thick
- In a container, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper (go lightly on the salt because of the soy sauce).
- Tenderize the meat if possible (this is where I used the cool OXO gadget; if you wanted to pound it a bit or score it with a knife, or use another method of tenderizing please do).
- Poured the marinade over the meat. Cover, and marinate the meat for 6 to 24 hours in the fridge.
- Preheat a grill to high. Grill the steak for 4 to 5 minutes per side, basting it with the marinade left in the bowl or container.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes to reabsorb the juices.
- Slice on the diagonal and understand how London Broil can taste so good. Or ask my dog. Gary and Cooper had their little Lady and the Tramp moment. I know; this is ridiculous. Sometimes we just need to be ridiculous.
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