An easy London Broil recipe that highlights the bold, beefy flavor of top round steak and requires very little work.
Your only job as a cook is to avoid overcooking the meat. This cut of beef should be served medium-rare.
The best thing about this recipe, apart from its wonderfully beefy flavor, is how easy is to make. It's a simple recipe that highlights the bold flavor of top round steak and requires very little work.
London broil is traditionally prepared by broiling or grilling a marinated top round steak or flank steak, then cutting the steak into thin strips. However, I like to cook it on the stove, in a cast-iron skillet.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
For the marinade: Balsamic vinegar, soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative), Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and cumin. You can use any mustard you like, but I do like the creaminess and flavor of Dijon mustard.
Top round steak: I usually get it at the butcher counter at Whole Foods.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the steak could end up too salty.
The detailed instructions for making this recipe are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps.
London broil is very lean and very flavorful. But it can easily become tough. To make sure your steak comes out tender, you need to do three things:
Marinate the beef prior to cooking. Marinating, especially with a marinade that contains vinegar, tenderizes the meat.
Cook the steak to rare (120 degrees F), and certainly to no more than medium-rare (135 degrees F). Note that the USDA will disagree with me on this one, though. They want you to cook steaks to medium.
In terms of the level of doneness, I can't stress enough how important it is to cook this particular cut of beef lightly. Rare is best, and as you can see in the photos, that's how I like to cook it. But definitely don't cook it to more than medium-rare.
When cooked to medium or medium-well, it can become tough and difficult to chew, regardless of how long it has been marinated.
The CDC, though, wants us to cook steaks to medium (145 degrees F). So this is really a personal decision. But if you prefer to cook meat to medium, it's probably best to go with cuts of beef that are more tender, such as tenderloin or even sirloin.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe is typically made from the top round. The round is the rear leg of the cow and it's divided into the eye round, bottom round, and top round.
The top round is a tough cut that requires overnight marinating and a quick high-heat cooking method.
If you have a frozen top round steak, it's perfectly fine to marinate it while it's still frozen. I do it often. Simply place the frozen steak in a resealable bag with the marinade and place it in the fridge overnight.
If your cast iron skillet is well seasoned, there's no need to add oil to the pan before frying the steak. If you'd like to add fat to the skillet, it's best to use fats that are appropriate for high heat cooking, such as avocado oil or ghee.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Thinly sliced and served cold, they make the perfect salad topping! I also like to make myself a plate of cold slices with some fresh-cut veggies and quick pickles.
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Stovetop London Broil Recipe
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1.5 lbs. top round steak 1 - 1.25 inches thick
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and cumin. Place the steak in a Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and rub it all over the steak. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the bag on a plate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. If you're home while the steak is marinating, flip it once in a while.
- Remove the steak from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking, to allow it to reach room temperature.
- Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the steak from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle it on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the steak in the hot skillet. Cook it for 3 minutes without moving. Flip to the other side (it should be deeply browned and slightly charred on the first side) and cook for 3 more minutes, again without moving it.
- Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the heat. Tent it with foil, and allow the steak to rest - and finish cooking from the skillet's heat - for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board. Slice it very thinly and serve.