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May 2, 2008 / Tony

Simple London Broil with Simple Maître d’ Sauce

I first had this dish with Paul and Bridget Carns.  It’s a very simple preparation of meat that ends up being one of the most satisfying ways to eat beef.  This is my interpretation of their recipe:

Simple London Broil with Simple Maître d’ Sauce

1 2 lb piece of flank or top round steak

Kosher salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely minced parsley

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat a hot grill.  Season the steak with salt and pepper and rub with a little bit of olive oil.  Let it sit out at room temperature while the grill heats. 

Meanwhile, make the Simple Maître d’ Sauce.  Melt the butter over low heat.  When melted, add the parsley and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep warm until ready to serve. 

When the grill is hot, cook the steak to your desired temperature.  I do not recommend anything past medium-rare or your steak will be really tough.  Remove the steak to a plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Then, thinly slice the meat across the grain (VERY IMPORTANT!).  Top with some of the Simple Maître d’ Sauce and serve immediately.

Here’s what it looked like with Sherried Baby Bella Mushrooms:

The result should be a tender and deeply beefy flavored piece of meat surrounded by a just acidic enough buttery sauce.  The parsley adds some nice color, some texture, and just a slight bitterness that ties all of the flavors together.   

A few notes about the recipe:  1)  I fully realize that this recipe is a departure from traditional London Broil recipes.  For one, I don’t marinate the beef before grilling.  And, my Maître d’ Sauce is made of melted butter instead of being a composed butter (a butter creamed with other ingredients).  Why?  Well, I’m not a huge fan of marination.  Unless you’re using really aggressive ingredients like soy sauce, I really don’t see it making a huge flavor difference.  This is especially true when there’s going to be a flavorful sauce over the meat.  There’s a lot to be said about layering flavors and I don’t disagree with the idea.  I just think there’s better ways to get there than marinating.  Especially in this dish, where the marinade has the same flavor profile as the Maître d’ Sauce.  As far as changing the Maître d’ Sauce, I like having a cooked sauce because it tames the parsley’s flavor and texture and integrates better with sliced meats.  Who really want to smear butter over really thin slices of beef.  Sounds a bit too challenging for a dinner plate to me.  Of course, composed butters on whole pieces of beef is a whole other thing.  2)  It’s really important to cut the meat the right way.  London Broil is a method for cooking tough pieces of meat and does not refer to any specific cut.  Part of the method is to cut the meat against or across the grain.  When looking at your meat, you should see lines running through the meat.  The idea is to cut so your knife is at a right angle to them, so as to make all of those lines very, very short.  That will make the meat tender. 


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