A sale and the weather were the main influencers of this week’s post. Because our local supermarket had a great special on London broil, we had decided to break out the grill for the first barbecue of the season. But when the weather forecast put the kibosh on outdoor cooking, I started to consider a few alternatives like pan grilled or broiled, neither of which struck my husband’s fancy. So, I asked him to go through a few of our cookbooks and find a recipe for London broil that would.
An hour or so later he returned to my office, cookbook in hand and grinning. The book was Lidia Bastianich’s Commonsense Cooking and the recipe he chose was “London Broil Steak with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Marinade.” Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand—even the fresh basil, which I had purchased for another dish.
What I found especially appealing about the recipe was marinating the meat overnight in a rather thick puree of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, wine, olive oil, and a pinch of red-pepper flakes. Not only would the marinade tenderize this lean cut of beef, but would also infuse it with rich flavors. Moreover, the relatively quick roasting time in a hot oven would make it easy to cook while guests enjoyed cocktails.
The final dish exceeded my expectations. The steak was perfectly medium rare, tender, and juicy as well as packed with subtle savory flavors and just a hint of spice. After it rested, we served the steak sliced on the bias, napped with the pan sauce, and drizzled with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. We served the steak accompanied by roasted asparagus.
London Broil with Sun-Dried-Tomato Marinade (adapted from Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking)
1 cup dry red wine (I chose a Chianti Classico.)
½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 (1 ¾-pound) boneless London broil, about 1 to 1 ½-inches thick
1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the wine, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse to make a chunky paste.
2. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and then with the machine running, pour in the ½ cup of olive oil in a steady stream to make a relatively smooth sauce.
3. Put the steak in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade, making sure the meat lies flat and both sides are exposed to the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 to 24 hours. Flip the bag over half way through the marinating.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
5. Bring the steak to room temperature. Remove it from the marinade, but do not pat it dry. Place the steak in a roasting pan and cover it with the remaining marinade.
6. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and roast until medium rare, about 20 minutes.
7. Remove to a cutting board, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Thinly slice against the grain on a bias and serve on warmed plates, napped with sauce, and drizzled with a touch of extra virgin olive oil.
Wine Pairing: Chianti Classico
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