|Photo: Pinterest - London broil board|
As mouthwatering as higher priced cuts are, I often prepare a cheaper piece of beef for an equally satisfying dinner.
I'm very fond of Top Round "London Broil" steaks. Admittedly, this cut requires braising -- slow cooking in liquid -- to tenderize what is otherwise a tough piece of beef. However with braising, the meat falls apart when pierced with a fork; and it is a lean, delicious cut of beef. There is no fat to trim. Add potatoes, carrots and a green salad for a balanced, stick-to-your-ribs supper.
Here in the USA, supermarkets sell beef as London broil steaks, but the term really refers to a cooking method, and the packaging should also list the cut of beef: Top Round, Flank, Shoulder, Shank, etc.
Not only is a Top Round London broil steak easy to prepare and tasty to eat, it is easy to clean up! You can make it in a crock pot, but I usually simmer the meat in a covered skillet on a stove top for 3 hours. Here's my easy-breezy-one-skillet recipe:
Set aside a 12'' pan brushed with olive oil.
Top Round London Broil Steak
1 1/2 to 2 pounds top round steak (If thicker and heavier, technically, it's a roast, but as long as the meat is flat, you can use the skillet-on-a-stove-top method.)
2 stalks of celery
1 small onion
3-4 garlic cloves
Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, dried garlic, onion powder, ground celery, a few turns of the nutmeg mill, dried oregano, Herbs de Provence, Worcestershire sauce (or a squirt of soy sauce and cider vinegar, sans WS)
1) Take the steak (or steaks) out of the refrigerator and season both sides to taste with the dried spices. I use salt and dried spices as a rub, then let the meat rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
2) After resting, sear the meat on both sides in an oiled skillet.
3) Next scrap the bottom of the pan while adding 4 cups of water. Mix the meat scrapings in the water for flavor. (Don't you dare throw it out!) Bring the water and meat to a boil, then lower the flame. Cover and simmer.
4) Dice the garlic cloves, onion and celery. Add to the pan, along with carrots and quartered potatoes, if you wish. Add the Worcestershire sauce and remaining spices to the skillet.
5) The potatoes and carrots will be tender after about 20 minutes. Remove and put aside while the meat continues to simmer. Alternately, you can put the potatoes in to cook the last half hour, or so. Either way works.
6) Keep simmering until the meat is tender. I turn the meat over about every hour. If your water evaporates, add another cup. You can test by poking the beef with a fork. It will fall apart when done.
7) When the meat, potatoes and carrots are tender, remove from the liquid. Place on a serving plate.
8) If you wish, add some corn starch (per the directions on the box); or flour to thicken the gravy. Make sure you scrap the bottom of the pan to make the gravy. Taste and spice again if necessary.
Supermarkets often sell top round steaks at $2.69-$2.99 per pound, which is a steal!
Although it takes time to tenderize, there's no real labor involved. Leftovers make delicious beef sandwiches, or a 2nd meal during the week. Bon Appetit!
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