Do Not Marinate that London Broil!!


“London broil” by Jeremy Keith (adactio@Flickr) –

If there is one thing on this planet that makes me a happy girl it’s beef! Particularly, that of the steak genre. But {sigh} filet mignon, my absolute fav, gets pretty pricey for an average joe such as myself {sigh again} and is generally reserved for very special occasions. So I must resort to cheaper cuts of beef, when on sale, to satisfy my cravings.  My two favorites are london broil and sirloin by default.

I would buy this luscious hunk of london broil and prepare it, by first, taking all of my aggressions for the day out on this poor hunk with my meat mallet! Then, I’d whisk up a simple marinade, immerse my hunk and leave it to sit in my refrigerator for a day or two.  After, sufficient time in the refrigerator it’s time to grill or broil it, finally!! The end result always seems to be a tough cut of beef no matter how rare you cook it or how thin you slice it. Damn!

I had been playing around with brining pork and poultry one day and was curious, “can I brine beef?” I turned to my crystal ball (aka Google) and lo and behold “yes, Virginia you can brine beef.” I was elated! However, brining beef was different than brining pork or poultry in the sense that you use a “dry” brine as opposed to a “wet” brine.

I happily raced to the market for a london broil to try this new “dry” brining technique. Yes! No more beating my hunk (no pun intended) or waiting days only to be disappointed by a tough london broil!

If you are familiar with brining pork and poultry, you understand that a “wet” brine of water, salt and sugar changes the proteins improving texture and the ability of the cut to retain moisture. To me, this is surely the way to make the best of pork and poultry. However, when you “dry” brine a tough cut of beef you salt it with approximately 1 teaspoon of salt on each side, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.  Did you read that “3 HOURS” not “3 DAYS”!!! Horray!! The science behind this simple magic is the salt draws the juices of the meat to the surface dissolving the salt and the tight plastic wrap draws the juices back into the meat.
The result, the most luscious london broil you will ever eat! It’s tender and full of flavor like you have never had before. I will always “dry” brine my tougher cuts of beef for as long as I’m here to tell you about it!
  • To dry brine: Season london broil with 1 teaspoon of salt on each side
  • Tightly wrap in plastic wrap
  • Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours and let rest to room temperature for 1 hour before cooking
  • Brown the london broil in a cast iron pan to get a nice sear on it and finish it off under the boiler or on the grill (approximately 5 to 8 minutes on each side depending on your preference of rare, medium rear etc
  • Let rest for approximately 15 minutes and slice thin against the grain.

Do you have a secret technique for tough cuts of meats?

See you in the comments,


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