Monday, June 8, 2009

Cooking Grass-Fed Beef: Episode 1 – Top Round "London Broil"

This video recipe for a London broil is the first in the series of videos I mentioned last week, focusing on cooking various cuts of grass-fed beef. In this recipe, using beef from Normanton Farm's, I focus on the main challenge to using this product – its very low fat content.

Statistics vary, but Grass-fed beef has about half the fat of conventionally raised beef. It's this low-fat content, along with high levels of Omega-3's that makes eating grass-fed beef so nutritionally advantageous.

Because of the lower fat content, grass-fed beef has the reputation for being tougher and drier that regular beef. It is if you don’t handle it properly, which is the whole purpose of these videos. Generally, grass-fed beef cooks faster, probably 25% faster, so it's important to use a thermomet
er to check for doneness, and not rely solely on time and feel.

For this top round roast, a really flavorful, but very lean cut, there are two great options: a quick, hot, dry cooking method, served medium-rare – or a long, slow, braising method you'll see in the sauce video. Anyway, enough background info, on to the recipe!

The "London broil" has to be one of the most confusing recipes ever. Despite the name, it's not a dish that originated in London. They've never heard of it. It's like asking where to buy fortune cookies in China. It first appeared in America in the 1930's, although where, no one knows for sure.

Adding to the culinary haze is the fact butchers sell "London Broil" as a cut of meat, which it isn’t - it's simply a method for cooking a thick, often tough piece of beef. When you buy a London broil, you could be getting top round, rump roast, flank steak, sirloin, or any number of other cuts.

Mysterious origins and poor terminology aside, it is a very nice way to cook this piece of beef. The meat first gets a marinade, and is then broiled medium-rare, before being sliced thin, and served with the natural juices. By the way, you can also cook this recipe on the grill, or in a pan, as long as you keep it medium-rare. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
grass-fed top round roast
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves sliced garlic
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
salt as needed

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

looks pretty easy. can I use flank steak instead.

Chef John said...

yes, will work great.

Asian Malaysin said...

I love the recipe and the idea of using these cheaper cuts of meats for steak. I cant recall the last time I had a tenderloin although it used to be my go-to steak and paying good money for a restaurant steak (with its unforgivably inflated price tag in Malaysia) now seems insane. Will try to look for this cut in the supermarket. Thanks, Chef John.

Chanelle said...

My mouth actually watered at the site of that delicious plate of meat. Talk about heaven on a plate!

Chanelle said...

My mouth actually watered at the site of that delicious plate of meat. Talk about heaven on a plate!

eagleslegacy said...

Don't know if you usually bother reading the comments on youtube, but you might want to consider it this time. Many people are saying your video's still image looks pornographic. You might want to choose a different still image.
By the way, I've made many of your dishes and they have all been winners. Can't wait to make this for my fiancee. Thank you for sharing.

Chef John said...

Thanks, but I'm not changing it because of those idiots, besides, more comments = more views!

Anonymous said...

Hey John! Great recipes & videos! Very easy to follow! Would be very helpful if you could mention ingredient quantity in ml where there is a cup (I get confused when I see 2/3 cups - how many is that???) and temperature in celsius. I'm from Latvia and we don't have here american cups and of course I can use a converter on the internet, but they give you sometimes so different result. And you are the author and must know for sure the right quantity of the ingredients. Thank you very much! Nina, Latvia (Yes, from Latvia and I could be the only your-blog-reader from Latvia....or not:-)

Chef John said...

I don't know the metric amounts so I would be using the same online calculators. Unless they are using bad info they should be accurate. Use one from a large well-known site and you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

Hi John your recipes sound so good!!! I cant wait to try this london broil! I work with La Cense Beef, they are an all natural grass fed beef company. You should check them out.

HowCookFood.com said...

great post chef. And thanks for clearing up the 'london broil' myth. I hate that butchers sel 'london broil'. say what its called either flank or top round.

NoUseForAName said...

John - this is a real winner. I just found your site and am realllly loving it. We're big fans of the london broil cut. Is there a way for me to adjust this recipe for the BBQ? I have an infrared char broil, if that makes a difference. Thanks! Would love to make this for our 4th of July BBQ.

Chef John said...

never used one, but i'm sure you could. thanks!

NoUseForAName said...

So you have it 8 inches from a broiler - how would I do this on a BBQ? Direct heat? How high a temp?

Chef John said...

Sorry, can't give you settings. prob med direct heat

Nicole Reeves said...

Hi John, FOund your videos while searching for grass fed beef recipes. LOVE your site. I've got to set aside a few hours to browse. I was wondering if a "Round Steak" is the same thing as the cut of meat you used to London Broil (round roast) in this post. We just got our first 1/4 cow of grass fed beef. I have a cut stamped "Round Steak" but I know many cuts have two or three names. Thanks for your help and thanks for your blog.

Chef John said...

Yes, round steak is just a thick slice from a round roast. Thanks!

Connie said...

I had great success using your instructions for cooking London broil. I am notorious for overcooking beef. I think it was the meat thermometer (you used one in your video) that convinced me to try your method. I did as instructed (with less marinating time - because I was hungry) and my London broil turned out perfect. I've always been leery of undercooked meat - but now that I put that meat thermometer to use - I feel I can now confidently cook moist and tender beef! I thank you, my husband especially thanks you.

NoUseForAName said...

Hey Chef John.
Always loving your site.
So for this recipe, you mention using an oven thermometer and broiling the meat.
Can you recommend a thermometer which stays in the meat and can work in broiling temperatures?
(The electronic probes are unable to withstand such high heat, it seems. Did you use an analog?)
Thanks!

Chef John said...

i just used a cheap old analog. But the probe type should work. I've used them and also used them in the oven. The ones that have a wire going back to the unit.

Billy Rodriguez said...

I find "London Broil" is a great cut for long cooking time recipes. My favorite recipes with it include a slab simmered in tomato pasta sauce, and a soup made with top round, potatoes, garlic (each piece cut only in half, or a third for bigger pieces), carrots, and Alfredo sauce.

Marc McCarthy said...

Would you be able to recommend an oven safe drying rack? I worry that mine isn't made to go into an oven...