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It’s finally here! Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season. And it is also the start of the outdoor grilling season. Grilling just doesn’t need to be confined to chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, London Broil is an ideal addition to your barbeque menu.
What exactly is a London Broil? A London Broil can be defined two ways- one: is a cooking method; two: a specific cut of meat. London Broil is a flank steak or top round steak dish that, when cooked correctly, is filling, flavorful, and nutritious. Though the London Broil can be cooked in several different ways, marinating and slow-grilling the steak is an easy way to give it a great texture and flavor. Here are a few suggestions to grilling a London Broil.
1. Buy good-quality steak.
There’s no way around it: if you use high-quality meat, it’s much easier to get a good-tasting result than if you use mediocre meat. While good chefs can make a tasty London Broil from a cheap piece of meat, this can be challenging, so opt for a high-grade piece of beef whenever you can. If you’re unsure of which cuts of flank steak are the best, talk to your local butcher.
In the U.S., the United States Department of Agriculture grades most beef as “Select”, “Choice”, or “Prime” (in order of increasing quality). “Prime” cuts are generally the most flavorful and well-marbled, so you’ll want to spring for these if they’re available.
Note that some butchers may label a cut of meat called top round steak as London Broil, rather than flank steak.
2. Tenderize your Steak.
Flank steak sometimes has an unfair reputation as a tough, chewy, and flavorless cut of meat. However, this is only true if the meat is poorly-prepared. There are a number of ways to make flank steak tender before you even begin to cook it. The easiest way is to hit it with a tenderizing mallet on a clean cutting board. This breaks up the meat’s tough muscle fibers, giving it a softer texture.
Don’t use powdered meat tenderizers or tenderizing compounds containing extracts from papaya or pineapple fruits. These are tricky to use correctly and can sometimes tenderize the meat unevenly, giving it a mushy exterior and a tough interior.
3. Marinate your Steak.
Banging your flank steak with a hammer isn’t the only way to make it tender. Flank steaks can benefit greatly by soaking them in a marinade before cooking — doing this not only gives the meat a chance to absorb the marinade’s flavor, but also tenderizes it slightly (though this isn’t true 100% of the time).
To help the flank steak absorb its marinade, score your meat before marinating it. Use a sharp knife to make a few X-shaped cuts on the surface of the meat about a half-inch or so deep before applying the marinade. Put the steak in an airtight plastic bag, pour the liquid marinade ingredients over it to cover it and seal the bag. Leave it in the fridge for at least a few hours turning the bag over 2 times.. Usually, about half a day of marinating will allow the meat to absorb as much flavor as possible.
Tequila Jalapeño Marinade
1 cup tequila
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 clove garlic
1/4 sesame oil
1/4 sauce Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
4. Heat your grill.
When your meat has marinaded a sufficient length of time, remove it from the refrigerator and let it start to warm to room temperature. While you wait, start your grill. First brush the grill with a light coating of Olive Oil, let it reach a medium heat before you start to cook your meat — you want the grill hot enough to give the meat an initial “searing”, but not so hot that it dries out your meat during cooking.
For optimal tenderness, you want to use long, slow cooking after the initial sear. On a gas grill, this is easy — simply set one burner to “medium” and one to “low”. On a charcoal grill, this is a little trickier — you want to make a large pile of charcoals on one side of the grill and a small one on the other side.
For charcoal grills, don’t forget that the charcoals aren’t ready to cook when they’re flaming, but rather, when they’re ashed-over and exuding an orange glow.
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