What is London Broil Roast Beef? Demystifying This Iconic Dish

London broil roast beef is a classic American dish, though its origins remain a mystery. Despite the name, London broil is not actually a specific cut of meat. Rather, it refers to a method of preparing roast beef by marinating, broiling, and slicing it.

Here’s a complete guide to understanding what makes London broil roast beef so tasty:

What Cut of Beef is Used?

  • London broil can be made from various lean cuts like flank steak, top round, or bottom round.
  • These are more affordable cuts that benefit from marinating to become tender.
  • Look for uniform thickness and deep red color with some marbling when selecting meat.
  • Flank steak is a top choice for its consistent shape, great flavor, and ability to absorb marinade.

Is it Considered a Roast?

  • While London broil and roast beef start from similar cuts, they are prepared differently.
  • Roast beef is cooked in the oven using dry heat. London broil is broiled or grilled after marinating.
  • Roasts are left in large chunks or whole cuts. London broil is sliced across the grain when cooked.
  • So while the cooking method makes it “broil” and not “roast”, the cut of meat is very roast-like.

Why the Name London Broil?

  • Despite having London in the name, the dish is distinctly American with no British roots.
  • One theory is that European-sounding names were fashionable when it became popular in the 1930s-1940s.
  • Another is that it was named after a London broiling pan that was used to cook it.
  • But the true origins remain a mystery!

Marinating is Crucial

  • The key to great London broil is properly marinating the beef.
  • Acidic marinades with wine, vinegar, or citrus help tenderize the tougher cuts.
  • Seasonings like garlic, onion, herbs, worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce amp up the flavor.
  • Marinate for at least 2-4 hours, but preferably overnight if time allows.

Cooking Methods

  • High heat and quick cooking is vital. London broil can be prepared by:
    • Broiling in the oven
    • Grilling over hot coals or gas
    • Pan-searing on the stovetop
  • Cook for 6-8 minutes per side for medium rare doneness.
  • Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to retain juices.

Slicing Against the Grain

  • Always slice London broil very thin against the grain of the meat fibers.
  • This gives you tender, easy to chew slices rather than chewy chunks.
  • Slicing properly makes up for using tougher cuts of beef.

Serving Suggestions

  • London broil makes a great centerpiece hot off the grill or accompanied by classic steakhouse sides:
    • Baked potatoes
    • Sautéed mushrooms
    • Creamed spinach
    • Roasted asparagus
    • Tomato salad
  • Also delicious in sandwiches, tacos, pizza, pasta, or salad the next day.

Why London Broil Roast Beef is Special

Though it may not sound glamorous, London broil roast beef punches above its weight thanks to smart techniques. A flavorful marinade transforms an inexpensive cut into a satisfying main dish. Searing it hot and fast followed by thin slicing keeps it tender. This reliable recipe proves that humble ingredients can make an iconic meal.

What is a London Broil? Mystery beef cuts identified | Jess Pryles


What’s the difference between London broil and regular roast beef?

Is London Broil the Same as Roast Beef? While both of them usually come from the same cut of beef, London Broil is a flat slab of beef that is broiled on high heat, while roast beef is a squarish or round chunk of beef that is often roasted in the oven (or used to make sous vide roast beef).

Is London broil a good cut of meat?

Traditionally speaking, a London broil is a top round roast, flank or skirt steak, and is a great money-saving option for family meals or anyone on a budget. Because it’s a lean muscle cut, it also tends to be tougher due to its low fat content.

What is another name for London broil beef?

Top-round steak, sometimes sold as “London broil” or topside, or flank steak, are the traditional cuts of beef used for London broil since they take well to marinades.

Is London broil roast beef cooked?

Top Round London Broil Cooked Beef, Finished Product Contains up to 12% of a solution. Marinated and seasoned with just the right spices, this roast beef is roasted to medium-rare for a hearty, old-fashioned flavor.

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