Spring has officially sprung!
The peepers are out in force and singing along with the once-again babbling creek. The pussy willows are blooming and the boys are rediscovering the joy of the prized skill of tree climbing.
My young men are not content just to climb every tree in which they can gain a foothold. They stand back with arms folded and examine the trees in the yard, of which there are a multitude, and debate their chances of success with assorted limbs and branches.
While visiting my mom for a Sunday dinner a couple weeks ago, we had a glorious spring day. Their Nana promised the boys ice cream cones as dessert to cool their palates after our dinner curry and then realized that there was none in the house. Mom and I deputized my 15-year-old sister, Airlia, to go for a hike with the three eldest boys, had my husband stay in the house with the two little guys and then we headed out for the store by ourselves.
Mom and I dawdled over produce and smelled just about every hair care product in the place. I closely examined nearly every London broil on the shelf and gave mom my recipe for crockpot Mexican chicken.
It wasn't until we had spent more time than someone who is going "just to buy ice cream and cones" could decently do that I wondered how Airlia was faring with the boys on their hike. We arrived home to find we probably could have spent a little more time lingering at the bakery section.
Nice weather, in addition to fodder for family stories, gives me another gift; the gift of getting my grill going again. Grilling is an almost strictly weather-permitting activity for me. Before you fire that first food this year, remember that grill cleanliness is next to grill godliness.
Be certain that your grill is brought up to a very high temperature to burn off any nasties. Have a wire brush handy to give a good scrub and loosen any charred bits.
These London broils make frequent appearances at our dinner table. They are the culinary equivalent of a hat trick of being healthy, economical and quick to prepare. They can be served sliced thinly over salad, piled on sandwich rolls, with rice, roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables, among other things.
I'm giving two options for preparing the meat. Both are delicious and cooked identically. Play with these flavors on this recipe to find what your family likes the best. If it's not quite grilling season for you yet, just prepare it under your broiler. It's easy any way you slice it.
London broil is not a specific cut of meat, but most butchers or meat departments label flank steak or round steak as such. For economy's sake I usually use thick cut top round steaks. The method below turns this usually tough cut into a flavorful and tender main dish.
Luscious London Broil
Option 1: Simply Marinated:
4 T. Dijon mustard
4 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. lemon juice, preferably fresh
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2-4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. fresh ground or cracked black pepper
1 (2 to 21/2 lb.) London broil
Place mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and pepper in a gallon sized zip top bag. Seal the bag and shake to combine ingredients. Set aside. Lay beef on your cutting board with the top end pointing at 10 o'clock and the bottom end pointing at 4 o'clock. Score parallel diagonal lines about 1/8 inch deep and 2 inches apart across the entire steak. Turn the steak and repeat the scoring so you end up with a diamond pattern. Flip the steak over and repeat the scoring on the reverse side. Put the beef in the bag of marinade, close the bag, squeezing out the excess air, and mush around until the whole steak is covered in marinade. Place in a bowl and in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours and up to eight hours, turning once or twice.
Before grilling, remove from marinade and pat dry. Discard marinade.
Option 2: Simply Simple:
3 T. steak seasoning (we use Montreal Steak Seasoning from McCormick)
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
Score the beef as mentioned above.
Sprinkle first side with half of the steak seasoning and half of the olive oil. Rub well, forcing some of the seasoning into the scored areas. Flip the steak and repeat with the remaining seasoning and oil. Set aside while grill is preheating.
Cooking directions: Grill the meat, turning once, for about eight to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak, until the internal temperature is 125 degrees-130 degrees for rare, 130 degrees-140 degrees for medium rare, 140 degrees-150 degrees for medium, 150 degrees-160 degrees for medium well, or 160 degrees for well done.
Transfer meat to the cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice diagonally across the grain into thin slices.
Rebecca Lindamood is a northern Lower Michigan native now living in New York state. A food lover and mother of five boys, she writes occasionally about preparing creative, yet affordable, meals for a family. Drop Rebecca an e-mail at email@example.com or write to her care of the Record-Eagle.