always-tender-london-broil

In the mood for steak but don’t feel like shelling out the big bucks for a rib eye or New York strip? This London broil recipe is your answer.

While most typically a flank steak, London broil can also be used to label other large, lean, and often tougher cuts of beef, including top round steaks and top sirloin steaks at grocery stores or butcher shops. More generally, it refers to how these steaks are prepared: first by marinating to tenderize, broiling or grilling to cook, and finally, thinly slicing against the grain to serve. Here’s how to cook London Broil our way, to ensure a juicy, tender result every time.

Our first secret weapon is baking soda, which gets mixed in with a few other simple marinade ingredients. It may seem unorthodox, but it plays a crucial role in tenderizing the steak by relaxing its protein network, which keeps it nice and juicy while it cooks. Pricking the steak all over with a fork before it marinates helps the flavors penetrate quickly, so there’s no need for an overnight soak if your prep time is limited.

Though most recipes call for the broiler, we found a stovetop-only sear yields a more tender—and faster—result. Just keep your meat thermometer handy to test for your preferred doneness. (For medium-rare, we aim for an internal temperature of 125°F; it will climb as it rests.)

While the cooked steak rests, transform the deeply savory marinade into a pan sauce. Don’t be alarmed if it foams as it boils—that’s the baking soda. Once the foaming subsides, quickly whisk in the butter to create a velvety sauce. 

Slice the steak thinly against the grain with a sharp knife and serve with mashed potatoes, twice-baked potatoes, or other carb of your choice, plus green beans and a wedge salad for steakhouse vibes.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Check out best steak recipes for mains worthy of a special occasion like hangar steak with mushrooms in red wine sauce, brown-sugar-crusted skirt steak with chives, or strip steak with spring vegetables and Dijon.

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Ingredients

2–4 servings

London Broil Marinade

4

garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼

cup extra-virgin olive oil

2

Tbsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar

2

Tbsp. soy sauce

1

Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

¾

tsp. baking soda

1

1½–2 lb. London broil

Assembly

1

Tbsp. vegetable oil

Kosher salt

2

Tbsp. unsalted butter

Flaky sea salt

Preparation

  1. London Broil Marinade

    Step 1

    Whisk together 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl or baking dish; season with freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in ¾ tsp. baking soda (don’t worry if marinade fizzes; that’s the baking soda working). 

    Step 2

    Prick one 1½–2 lb. London broil all over with a fork and add to marinade; turn to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour or cover and chill up to 12 hours.

  2. Assembly

    Step 3

    Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip back into bowl, and pat dry with paper towels; reserve marinade. Season steak generously with kosher salt and cook, turning once, until deeply browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125° for medium-rare, 8–12 minutes. Using tongs, stand steak on its sides and cook until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

    Step 4

    Meanwhile, transfer reserved marinade to a small saucepan, add ⅓ cup water, and bring to a boil (mixture will foam up). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid overflow, until foaming subsides, about 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter and whisk vigorously to emulsify sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve. 

    Step 5

    Thinly slice steak against the grain and arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over; sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 

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