Growing up, I mostly lived with my dad, as I was yet another 1980s-born statistic that came from divorced parents. We lived out in the country in Virginia, but not just the country, we lived on the river. If you happen to be from a rural “on the river” town, you know there’s a difference between those people and mountain country people. I like to think, perhaps because I’m biased, that being from Virginia’s river country is a slightly (let me emphasize that word) more upscale version of country bumpkin than mountain country, because even though girls came to our senior prom in dresses made from camo and I once saw a deer being skinned in the garage of my neighbor’s mansion, we didn’t eat roadkill. Instead we ate blue crabs and attended local oyster festivals. We bought our food from local farm stands on the side of the road, and the kids working those stands were the kids in my 5th period English class. If there’s one thing I remember about those farm stands, it’s the tomatoes. Boy, those tomatoes were good.
But today is not about tomatoes, it’s about steak – London broil, specifically. What on earth does London broil have to do with the river country or tomatoes sold at the Sisson family produce stand? Well, nothing really, except that London broil reminds me of my dad, and when I think about my dad and me eating London broil for dinner, these are the things that come to mind.
My dad has always been a steak and potatoes kind of guy; he still is, although his tastes have expanded slightly since he married his Russian wife that started cooking for him. “Russians love mayonnaise,” he says of her many mayo-based salad recipes. (My favorite is the cold crab and corn salad she makes!) I wonder if she knows how to make mayonnaise from scratch…
When I was in high school, I followed this same steak and potato diet. I could do that at sixteen years old, as I played a lot of sports and worked out for three hours each day after school. I’d come home famished and exhausted and ready to scarf down everything that my dad had prepared for us. Dinner usually involved a salad on the side, made with iceberg lettuce, one tomato, a quarter of an onion, a few slices of cucumber and a choice of either ranch or thousand island dressing. The meat was the star, often grilled, and usually involved beef. I don’t remember my dad ever making chicken, so I guess red meat was his true love in this regard. The side dishes always included a starch, like mashed or baked potatoes, and then a steamed vegetable would make its way into the tiny sliver of space that was left on our plates.
My dad always made his London broil in the oven, but I prepared this one on the grill. The short cooking time keeps it medium rare; if you cook it any more, it’ll get tough and be difficult to cut and chew. When it’s done, just slice the meat thinly and serve it on a platter with a salad, a huge serving of starchy potatoes and a wee bit of veggies. Use the leftovers on sandwiches.
- 2 pound London broil steak
- olive oil
- Rub a dried London broil steak with olive oil and then sprinkle both sides with a generous serving of salt and pepper.
- Place the steak on a hot grill and cook for about 3 minutes or until well-seared. Flip steak and sear the other side for another 3 minutes.
- Remove the steak from the grill and allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes, covered with foil. Slice thinly against the grain to serve.