London Broil is one of the most misunderstood pieces of meat. It gets a bad rap for being tough if it’s overcooked or sliced incorrectly. Luckily, I’ve been cooking and eating London Broil my whole life, so I have some tips to share with you.
While interviewing James from Hover Farms, he mentioned that customers often ask him for recipes to utilize his grass-fed, grass-finished London Broil. He then handed me a London Broil. I took it as a challenge, mainly since Farm2ChefsTable generally features recipes with more well-known cuts of meat.
As I wrote this recipe, I felt a sense of nostalgia. It took me back to my childhood. As an affordable cut of meat, London Broil was my family’s go-to beef choice. We didn’t have strip steaks, short ribs or prime rib at our dinner table. Instead, my mom would whip up London Broil for us before she went to work in the restaurant she ran. London Broil is a staple in home kitchens, but it’s definitely less popular in professional kitchens.
Chefs tend to rely on more popular cuts of meat, I think, because it’s easy to do. Less thinking is involved. We almost use them as a crutch. If I’m being honest, it’s kind of lazy and perhaps even disrespectful to the animal that gave its life to sustain ours.
As someone with a butchering background, I’ve learned the importance of coaxing flavors from less-prized cuts of meat. It’s something I take pride in. From my humble roots, I’ve found that unpopular beef cuts like London Broil can have more flavor than filet mignon, strip steak and prime rib—if cooked properly. There are certainly some cuts of beef that need more highlighting to bring out their unique and tasty flavors.
One of my first great memories of cooking London Broil came from one of my mentors, Chef Corle. His instructions were to add tons of garlic, shallot, thyme and balsamic vinegar and let it marinate overnight. Today’s recipe is essentially the same recipe from when I learned how to cook London Broil nearly 20 years ago. It’s simple, straightforward and stands the test of time.
The techniques in this recipe are great for Hover Farms’ London Broil because you’re starting out with a flavorful, quality cut of meat. Hover Farms has done nearly all the work for you. You won’t have to do much to end up with a great meal. There’s no need to overcomplicate it with pungent dry rubs or intense marinades. Instead, we’ll let the flavors of their grass-fed, grass-finished beef shine.
In this recipe, we’ll use a cooking technique called reverse searing. Reverse searing involves taking an ingredient such as beef, cooking it low and slow in the oven, and then searing it on a hot surface such as a grill or heavy-bottom pan. This will prevent your London Boil from becoming too chewy.
Day 1: Marinating the London Broil & Brining the Bone Marrow
Marinate the London Broil
Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes | Marinating Time: 12 hours, or overnight
- 1 to 3 lbs. London Broil (grass fed, grass finished preferred, available at Hover Farms)
- 1 head of garlic (8 cloves), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 thyme sprigs, picked
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
Step by Step
- Season the London Broil with salt and pepper and reserve on a plate for 5 minutes
- While the meat rests, pour the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sliced shallots, finely chopped garlic and thyme into a plastic bag
- Give the bag a shake to disperse the ingredients
- Place your London Broil into the bag with the marinade
- Put the bag inside another container (in case it leaks) and place it in your refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight to soak in all the flavor.
Brine the Bone Marrow
Brining is an important step when preparing bone marrow. It seasons the marrow and leaches out any impurities.
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Brine Time: 12 hours, or overnight
- 2 lbs. bone marrow, cut into 2″ pieces (ask your butcher to do this)
- 3 quarts cold water
- 1 tablespoon salt
Step by Step
- In a bowl large enough to hold the water and bone marrow, whisk the salt into the water until it’s dissolved
- Add the bone marrow to the bowl
- Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
Day 2: Tempering and Searing the London Broil, Roasting the Bone Marrow and Onions, Preparing the Bone Marrow Creamed Spinach & Plating
Temper the London Broil
Today is the day! There are a few more tasks before you dig into this wonderful steak. Today is mostly multi-tasking to finish up, but nothing too stressful. You’ll just roast the bone marrow and onions at the same time, then make the bone marrow creamed spinach while the steak cooks.
First, you’ll need to bring your London Broil to room temperature. This is important so the steak cooks evenly. If you were to take it directly from the cold refrigerator and cook it, the outside of the steak would cook before the inside. You’d end up with what we call a bull’s eye. That is when the middle is pink and there is a gray ring on the outside. So, always temper your steak, or any protein, for that matter.
Tempering depends on the size of the meat and what protein you’re cooking. Our London Broil needs about 45 minutes of tempering time before it touches the oven. Smaller cuts of meat, such as chicken breast, only need 25 to 30 minutes of tempering.
Roast the Bone Marrow
This is a good thing to do while waiting for the London Broil to come to room temperature. Multi-task!
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 30 to 40 minutes | Oven Temperature: 350F degrees
Step by Step
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees
- Remove the bone marrow from the brine bath and place it on a medium roasting pan
- Place the pan into the hot oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the marrow softens and some of the fat renders off
- Once the marrow is done roasting, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool
- Leave your oven on so it’s preheated for the next step of this recipe
- Once the bone marrow is cool to the touch, use a spoon or butter knife to scrape out the marrow from the center of the bone
- Reserve the bone marrow and the rendered fat in the bottom of the pan in a small container. This will be your cooking fat or roux (thickener) for your creamed spinach.
Roast the Onions
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Oven Temperature: 350F degrees
Since we’re multi-tasking, you might as well get some other tasks started while your meat comes to room temperature and cooks in the oven. This is a good time to roast the onions. Check out the video on Farm2ChefsTable Instagram of how to roast these onions!
- 3 small onions, cut in half from top to bottom (preferably from the Black Dirt region in the Hudson Valley, where you’ll find Rogowski Farm, Blooming Hill Farm and Field & Larder)
- Oil, as needed
Step by Step
- Your oven should still be preheated from when you roasted the bone marrow
- Slick the bottom of a large, heavy-bottom pan and turn your stove to medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke
- Place the cut onions in the pan, flesh side down
- Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until a nice, deep brown color begins to form
- Next, pop the onions into the oven, flesh side down, and roast until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes
- Remove the onions (and bone marrow, if you haven’t done so already) from the oven
- Reduce the oven temperature to 250F degrees. You may leave the oven door open slightly to lower the temperature faster.
Reverse Sear the London Broil
Reverse searing is a technique you can apply to steaks, roasts or any protein, including pork and chicken. Depending on your ingredient of choice, temperature and cooking times will vary.
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 90 minutes to 2 hours | Oven Temperature: 250F degrees
Step by Step
- Place your tempered meat on a roasting rack that has a rack on it
- Cook the London Broil until it reaches an internal temperature of 120F degrees, which is just below medium rare
- Next, remove the steak from the oven and set it aside.
Prepare the Bone Marrow Creamed Spinach
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 cups spinach
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons bone marrow fat
- 4 tablespoons flour
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Olive oil, as needed
- Salt, to taste
Step by Step
- Add your bone marrow fat to a medium sauce pot over medium heat
- Whisk in the flour to make a roux
- Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Roux is a French cooking term related to thickening sauces. A roux is generally made from equal parts flour and some sort of fat, in this case, bone marrow.
- Cook the roux for 5 minutes, or until the flour cooks out
- Once the flour cooks out, add the milk and heavy cream in small batches to prevent lumps in your sauce
- Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Your sauce is now called a béchamel, which is a fancy name for creamed sauce. This béchamel is slightly thicker than traditional creamed sauces because we need a creamed spinach base, not really a sauce. Notice the high amount of flour to liquid in this case.
- Continue to cook the béchamel over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching, and cook the flour taste out of the sauce, adjusting the heat as needed
- Now that you have the creamed sauce base working, it’s time to think about the spinach
- Slick a large sauté pan with olive oil and place over high heat
- Add your spinach, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook down until the spinach wilts through and most of the liquid evaporates out
- Once the spinach has wilted, remove it from the pan and place it onto a cutting board
- Let the spinach cool slightly
- Rough chop the cooked spinach, then add it to the creamed spinach base in the sauce pot
- Grate a pinch of nutmeg into the creamed spinach and adjust your seasoning with salt
- You’re creamed spinach is now done. Reserve in the sauce pot until you’re ready to serve
Sear the London Broil
You’ve spent the last day multi-tasking. You’ve reverse seared the meat, roasted the onions and bone marrow, and made the creamed spinach. It’s time to reward all your hard work and enjoy this meal! Farm2ChefsTable Instagram has a video of searing the London Broil. Check it out!
Cook Time: 7 minutes | Grill Temp: High heat
Step by Step
- Preheat your grill or grill pan to high heat
- Drizzle your London Broil with oil and season with salt
- Place your London Broil on the grill so it is angled at 10 o’clock and grill for 90 seconds
- Flip the London Broil over, again placing it angled at 10 o’clock, and grill for 90 seconds more
- Flip again, but this time in the opposite direction, facing 2 o’clock, and cook for 90 seconds
- Flip it again, this time placing the tip of the London Broil at 2 o’clock, and cook for another 90 seconds
- Farm2ChefsTable Tip: You’re done. I like to call this technique “flipping the steak…Flip 4 and out the door!” Old kitchen lingo.
- Now go ahead and carve your London Broil. Cut against the grain. Thin to win. The thinner you carve it, the better, as London Broil tends to get tough if it is sliced thick.
- Grilled London Broil
- Roasted onions
- Creamed spinach
- Flaky sea salt
- Cracked black pepper
Plate up is super simple for this recipe. I like to present this family style, as my family often did when I was growing up.
Step by Step
- Add the sliced London Broil to a large platter or chopping block
- Place the onions in and around the London Broil
- Sprinkle flaky sea salt over the steak
- Place the creamed spinach in a bowl
- Grind black pepper over the entire dish
- Enjoy with your friends and family.