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Monday, December 13, 2010

Spice-Rubbed London Broil

It's been a while since I've prepared a meal with just meat. I thought that this recipe for spice-rubbed London broil sounded really good. I'm not sure of the origins of the recipe; it's on a card that my mother had in her stash. I was just interested to find out what an "Indonesian flavor" on a steak would taste like. And if you're essentially clueless about cuts of meat like I am (oh, how I wish for a short adult education course in butchery!), a London broil might also be sold as sirloin tip or top round.

Spice-Rubbed London Broil

1 1/2 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 (3-lb) London broil

1. Preheat broiler to high with the rack approximately 3 inches from the heating element. Line a broiler pan with tin foil. If using an outdoor grill, preheat grill to medium.

2. Take steak out of the refrigerator and set on the counter for 15 minutes before cooking. Rinse under cool water and dry thoroughly on paper towels.

3. Combine the brown sugar, coriander, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, ground ginger, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.

4. Rub the brown sugar mixture on both sides of the steak.

5. Broil steak for 3-4 minutes each side for rare, 5-6 minutes for medium, etc. Remove from oven and let steak rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

The Verdict: Good tasting rub but the wrong cut of meat for it.

As I mentioned above, I'm not a butcher. I don't know nearly enough about what cuts of meat are out there and think it's time that I start doing my homework on the subject. London broil, as the price reflects, is a pretty inexpensive cut. And while there's nothing wrong with inexpensive, it generally means tougher. You can generally get around this by slow cooking or marinading, neither of which is called for in this recipe. So my suggestion, at the very least, is to serve this steak as rare as you can stand it.

I'm also learning that you can tenderize a steak by patting it dry then liberally salting it and returning it to the fridge for 3 hours. Then before cooking, wipe the salt off. I have never tried this and am willing to give it a shot. I'll report back the next time I try a cheaper steak.

The rub itself was very tasty. I was worried because the spices are all fairly bold and I thought that it might be too much. Not so. The flavor is actually quite mild and the amount of ingredients called for are just right.

I'm really unsure why every steak recipe I've come across lately calls for such sizable amounts of meat. I understand that feeding just two adults and one toddler warrants a lot less food, however, to cook three pounds of London broil meant buying two steaks. Two large steaks. So keep this in mind if you decide to give this recipe a whirl--it will generously serve four adults. With sides, it might even be more like five or six. Buy accordingly.

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