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Aug 21, 2012 10:38 AM

"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.