Cooking meat properly is an art. Pit bosses and grill masters are revered so much that people travel hundreds of miles across the States to get to their favorite place. Some places like Snow’s in Texas have become famous and so has their pit boss, Tootsie.
Around 27 billion pounds (weight) of beef is produced in the USA alone per year. Some of that goes into burgers for your barbecue, some for prime steak, and yet more for roasting. Regardless of the rising popularity of vegetarianism and veganism the meat industry is still going strong in the States and across the globe.
There are many ways to cook meat and beef in particular and it can be used in many dishes too such as stews and curries. One particularly good way to serve beef is as a London broil.
What is a London broil?
Many people think of a London broil as a cut of meat like sirloin or rump but in fact, it refers to the method of cooking. To make a London broil you need to marinate your meat then sear it and afterward it is broiled. It is a very simple process but there is an endless list of recipes for the marinade and for how long it should be marinated.
So, does it come from England?
Strangely enough, the dish has nothing to do with England or the UK at all. It is from North America and is thought to have begun in Philadelphia. The first evidence of the London Broil in print was around 1931 and was used as a way of taking a tough piece of steak into tender slices that could be consumed and digested easier.
The original method involved pan-frying a thick piece of flank steak and then slicing it thinly against the grain to make it more palatable. Over time, as happens to many recipes this was adapted to include marinating and broiling.
What would you eat a London broil with?
You would treat it just as you would any steak and it works well with many side dishes. Mashed potatoes, soft bread rolls, asparagus, salad, or green beans all work well as does Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course, any leftovers can be thrown into some good bread for a tasty sandwich.
Choosing your cut of meat
Grass-fed meat from a local farmer would be ideal or if you have a local butcher as opposed to a supermarket then that would be the preferred way to go. The cooking technique was developed to help tougher cuts of meat become more tender so originally it was used for flank steak and many people still consider this the best. However other cuts can be used and top round steak is a very popular cut to use for London broil and you could use skirt or chuck roast also.
When you choose your meat ask your butcher for advice on the best cut for London broil. They should be able to advise on what cut you need and how thick it should be for the number you are feeding. Check that you are buying organic produce for the best meat you can buy and so it is chemical-free.
How do you prepare a London broil?
Once you have your piece of top-round or whichever cut you chose it is time to prepare it for cooking. First score both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern. This will let the marinade penetrate the meat easier and deeper.
For the actual marinade, you will need to try different combinations to find the one you like the most. Typically the marinade will include oil, salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, and other additions. Some include stock, thyme, vinegar to help tenderize the meat, and tomato paste. You will find adjusting recipes to suit your taste works as you cook your London broils periodically.
You need to mix all the ingredients to make the marinade and then place the steak in the marinade and cover it. Some recipes call for the meat to be marinated for an hour or so but ideally, you want it marinated overnight. Once you are ready to cook, take the meat out of the marinade. Next, pat it dry with kitchen paper. Now it is time to cook your London broil.
The best way to cook a London broil
Anyone who cooks steak will have their favorite way to do it. Some use heavy iron pans, others like to grill steaks and others prefer the barbecue. For the London broil, there is another way to consider as it is the most effective way to tenderize the meat and that means using an Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is one of those must-have kitchen appliances.
The Instant Pot is well known for cooking the toughest cuts of meat such as brisket and rendering them both tender and moist. It makes food that is naturally hard to digest easy to consume and that is why it is perfect for a London broil.
Ironically, the Instant Pot is normally used to speed up cooking and a London broil is already one of the quickest things to cook once you minus the marinating time. However, reading the recipe from Corrie Cooks will soon make it clear this is a seriously tender London broil.
The Instant Pot has both a saute feature and a pressure cooking one and it is both of these that will be utilized. Firstly, you need to saute the meat so add a little oil to the pot and set it to ‘saute’ then brown the meat on all sides so it is properly seared.
Next, add the marinade and another cup of water or stock if you prefer along with the steak. You next need to seal the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for about 20 minutes. Once finished you must let the steam release naturally to keep the moisture in the pot.
You may be wondering now why you would want to use an Instant Pot when it would be quicker to use a skillet and a broiler. The reason is the Instant Pot will make the meat more tender than any broiler will and you will get the most tender London to broil you can.
Although you may not believe it yet, the Instant Pot can make the toughest cut tender and moist and will produce a wonderful melt in the mouth London broil. Of course, the Instant Pot has more uses than just steak and when buying eco-friendly cookware and appliances it has some pretty green credentials too. If you are a steak fan and like the idea of trying London broil see how it works in an Instant Pot compared to the broiler yourself.