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"London Broil" aka Top Round Steak

We have a meat CSA, and have had a large chunk of grass-finished beef in the freezer labeled London Broil. It is between 2 and 3 pounds, appears boneless, and is about 2 inches thick. After considerable research on the web, I think it is a Top Round Steak.

It is time to get it out of the freezer and onto the table. I have no idea what to do with it. I usually use chuck for stews/pot roast. I have never made chicken fried steak or swiss steak. I do have a meat hammer, but am not too enthusiastic about trying to pound this big chunk of meat. What would you do with it? Open to any cooking tradition or method. TIA for any advice.

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  1. Cut it up, then pound the pieces and make Swiss steak, yummy. I put it in a thick (freezer type) plastic bag, then use the flat side of the mallet so it doesn't poke holes in the plastic. Avoids meat juice splatter.
    Or put the pieces in a slowcooker or dutch oven and braise it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      So, would you cut it cross wise? How thick before pounding, and how thick afterward? Sorry, my mom didn't like Swiss steak, so I didn't grow up eating it.

      1. re: dkenworthy

        Cut it into single size steaks, then pound it a bit until you think it's enough. You can look up recipes that are a bit more specific. I coat it in flour, brown it, then put it in a dutch oven or slow cooker with some sauteed onion, carrot, celery, add some beef stock, and a can of crushed tomatoes. Maybe a bit of paprika and garlic. Let simmer until tender.
        Good with boiled potatoes, or noodles, rice....

    2. I broil each side, then roast. Simpler is better for me.

      1. My sister serves top round as a london broil all the time and it works very well. An overnight marinade helps tenderize, grill it if you can, and thinly slice across the grain to serve (this is key). It is very easy.

        Lots of braised beef dishes call for top round (though I prefer chuck), so anything like pot roast or boeuf bourguignon would work fine.

        1. IMHO London Broil is not a very tender cut so, whatever way you fix it, please make sure it is either pounded or marinated/tenderized in some way.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mucho gordo

            I agree, that is why I was thinking of something like Swiss steak rather than London Broil. Also, my husband is not wild about rare steak, and I think it would be tough if cooked to medium. I wonder what the Mexican tradition is with top round? It just seems that with no fat, and no connective tissue, it won't make a very flavorful braise.

            1. re: dkenworthy

              probably, more than likely, not authentic in any way, but you could marinate it in tequila and taco seasoning. Then cook ala "london broil."

              1. re: dkenworthy

                I'll agree that grilling it past medium rare might not make the best result. I will mention that many of my older (and not so old) French cookbooks specify the top round for braised dishes (Olney, Johnston, Wells), so I think it is traditional but needs the right cooking method.

              2. re: mucho gordo

                Despite what people have been told for generations, marinating doesn't do much to tenderize tough meat (pounding does). (Alkaline things like baking soda tenderize - that's the classic velvetization technique used in Chinese cooking; acids generally don't do that well, BUT acids are a great way to add layers of flavor.)

              3. Marinate for at least a few hours, grill to medium rare, and slice thinly across the grain. We have it this way all the time. I like to make a marinade with garlic, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, and a splash of tequila.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Njchicaa

                  I'm a fan of marinating\grilling as well. I'd let it marante over night even. Do cut against the grain for the best results. This cut has a nice big beefy flavor.

                2. 'London Broil' is a cooking method.....not a cut of meat. ~~~ Various cuts of meant can be/are labeled/used as 'London Broil'...Including Top Round. ~ You can grind it...Use various braising methods/recipes, or give the London Broil method a try..........

                  Have Fun & Enjoy!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                    London Broil used to be made with flank steak until flank steak got so expensive. Now they call anything flank steak. including top round steaks.it is a dry, tough piece of meat. Your best bet is to grill it London Broil style. As others have said, pound the bejesus out of it to tenderize (marinade won't tenderize much if any) then grill it rare preferably but no more than medium. Slice it thin @ a 45 degree angle ac cross the grain.I wouldn't use it to braise although it commonly done in German/Swiss cooking. I feel it's too lean.and will come out dry.

                  2. I've had good luck with London Broil and this "California Marinade" http://www.food.com/recipe/california...
                    Marinade over night, then remove from fridge 30 mins before cooking, wipe off, grill as you like, then slice against the grain.
                    Leftovers are good the next day also.

                    1. I had a london broil that I accidentally cooked past medium so I threw it in the crockpot with some stock and let it go overnight. It pulled with a fork the next morning and I mixed it with some blended chipotles in adobo sauce and used it as tamale filling. It was great.

                      1. Thanks for all the help, chowhounds!

                        Since my husband doesn't like rare meat, and has been talking about Swiss steak, I decided to give that a try last night. Used Alton Brown's recipe, and was very pleased. A mountain of mashed potatoes, and my husband was in heaven. A little slice of Americana.

                        1. One of our favorite recipes is 'Open Steak', which is a thick cut round steak (called London Broil in many stores) sliced VERY thin (maybe sixteenth of an inch) over white bread toast, covered in melted butter. Yummm. If a meat slicer is available that would be great, otherwise a good sharp knife should be used. The easiest way to prepare is to simply broil the steak to the desired doneness, slice thin and layer the toast (two slices make a nice portion) then pour the butter on top. If it's two inches thick, that's great, but less than that can be used also.

                          1. What an old thread to top!???

                            London broil is extremely tender if you grill it on high heat, let it rest and slice it proper. Salt and pepper works just fine.