The preparation of London Broil is a thoroughly American creation, one that dates back to colonial times, but was different from today’s version. Back then, a relatively thin and less tender cut of steak was pan-fried and cut into thin slices on the bias across the grain.
Today’s version includes marinating the steak for several hours to tenderize it before cooking it with high heat, either in a broiler or on the grill, to no more than medium-rare.
While flank steak is most often referred to in recipes for London Broil, top round, chuck, and hanger steaks are sold in butcher shops and meat counters under the same moniker. These cuts for London Broil share the similar traits of being tougher, less marbled cuts that have big, beefy flavor and a cut to be about 1 inch thick.
Lobel's London Broil cut comes from USDA Prime, dry-aged beef that is unbelievably tender, juicy, and flavorful. In this case, you only need to marinate for flavor, not tenderness. So 2 hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes on the counter is sufficient.
Lobel’s London Broil: A Fan Favorite
In this video, Stanley Lobel demonstrates for Martha Stewart the family’s recipe for Bloody Mary London Broil which comes from the family’s cookbook Prime Time: The Lobels’ Guide to Great Grilled Meats.
All of the traditional ingredients of the classic cocktail are there—salt, pepper, horseradish, and Worchestershire sauce are present, as is a touch of dry sherry.
This recipe is one that fans of Lobel’s request most often. Regardless of the cut you choose, this is a fabulous take on pairing the tenderizing acid in the tomatoes with the spicy flavors that give a great Bloody Mary its punch.
Recipe: Bloody Mary London Broil
Total preparation time: 40 minutes, plus 30 minutes to 2 hours for marinating before grilling
2 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons prepared commercial horseradish
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons crumbled dried marjoram
1 teaspoon crumbled dried basil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 pounds London broil, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed
Vegetable oil cooking spray
- Stir together the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, sherry, marjoram, basil, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the steak in a single layer in a glass or ceramic dish. Spoon the tomato juice mixture over the meat, spreading to cover. Turn the meat to coat the other side. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or set aside at room temperature for no longer than 30 minutes. Turn the meat once or twice and return to room temperature if refrigerated before grilling.
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil cooking spray. The coals should be moderately hot to hot.
- Lift the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill the steak for 8 minutes. Turn the steak and grill for 7 to 10 minutes longer for medium rare, or until it reaches the desired doneness.
- Let the steak rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal into thin strips.