Cheap Eats: What's the Deal with London Broil?

Perusing the meat section at the grocery store this weekend, we spotted an inexpensive package marked "London Broil." It looked like a flat skirt or flank steak with long muscle fibers and very little marbling. We've definitely heard of london broil before, but had trouble placing it. What do you usually cook with london broil?

After doing some research at home, we discovered that we definitely aren't alone in our confusion! The main debate seems to be whether this is an actual cut of meat or if it is, in fact, a cooking technique.

In the United States, the consensus seems to be that a London broil is usually a cut from the top round. But it can also sometimes refer to flank steak or any other cut that isn't from the loin region (where T-bones, Porterhouses, and filet mignon are from), but isn't large enough to call a roast (which are usually 4 pounds or more).

The cooking method "London broil" involves marinating flank steak and then grilling it or broiling it. The cooked steak is then thinly sliced across the grain so that it's easier to chew.

If you see a cut labeled "London broil" at the supermarket, it's a good candidate for this marinating and grilling cooking method. You could also use it for stews or smaller braises. London broils, flank steak, and top round steaks are all generally less expensive because they are tough and lean. On the plus side, they have a great beef flavor!

Are you familiar with London broil? How do you cook it?

Related: Braising: Best Cuts of Beef for Braised Dishes

(Image: Flickr member adactio licensed under Creative Commons)