Saturday, March 17, 2007

Herb Rubbed London Broil

Sorry, vegans. Meat is delicious. It always has been and probably always will be. Furthermore, I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat carrots. But you go right ahead. Mmm. That tofu dog sure looks tempting. No, no. You keep it all to yourself...

My husband was actually the first person to introduce London Broil into our household. He's a handy sort of guy, real good with tools, though he'd never done much spectacular in the kitchen. His previous idea of "making dinner" involved pre-packaged mac n' cheese and frozen fishsticks. Yeah. It's better than it sounds, but still. Then again, I wasn't cooking yet (not really; my sporadic attempts were met with gratefulness, but I simply wasn't making the time to cook regularly). I was happily eating the mac n' cheese because it was the only option.

So he has a hankering for some good home cookin', looks up online somewhere a dummy's guide to making London Broil, and makes it. It was pretty good. Way better than the time he cooked up something that I swear to Sweet Fancy Moses came out of a bag labeled "Chicken Parts." Not, pieces. PARTS. There was a beak involved with that dinner. I digress. London Broil.

As we're eating the delicious meat, he sits across from me, takes my hand, and looks soulfully into my eyes. He says he's been having more and more cravings for real food recently, and that we should probably start cooking more often for each other.

Hint taken. And so, my journey in the kitchen began. It really is true -- if you can read, you can cook. Maybe you can't cook well, at first. But you get the hang of it eventually.

Here is my own recipe for London Broil. It is delicious, and you serve it with the veggies that it cooks with, so you're done when it comes out of the oven.

Preheat your broiler (500 degrees) and prepare your broiler pan -- for me, this involves foil (it makes for easy cleanup later if I place foil between the two parts, to catch all the juices) and cooking spray (spray the whole thing so that there is no sticking). Also, lay your meat out -- let it get to room temp.

1 C. chopped Italian parsley (it's more flavorful than reg. parsley)
1 T. rosemary (use dried or fresh -- you can use more if it's fresh)
1/4 C. chopped scallions
2 T. minced garlic (you know what to do... get yourself a jar!)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste; don't go nuts, the flavor of the meat is really not in need of a lot of help)
2 T. dijon or spicy brown mustard (your call)

In a big bowl, mince all these together with a fork, adding the mustard and garlic last, and set aside.

1 London broil (about 2 lbs; it's also sometimes labelled as "flank steak")
2 lbs small red potatoes, washed and halved
2 onions, in 8ths
2 lb zucchini, in nice sized chunks (you can use squash, too, as a substitute or in addition)
1/2 a celery head, chopped with all the leaves for flavor

Rub 2 T. of the herb mixture onto the meat, covering it all over, top and sides, etc. Place the meat in the center of your prepared broiler pan. Then add 4 tsp. of olive oil to the rest of the herb mix and hand mix your veggies into it. Get them good and covered. Place about half the veggies around the meat, in a single layer. You'll probably have overflow unless you have some freakishly large broiler pan, so put all the other veggies into a regular bake pan in a single layer and roast them just below the meat in the oven.

Cook under the broiler (not on the top rack, the middle is best) for 15 minutes. London Broil is always served pretty rare, and that's how this should come out, if your oven is on 500 degrees -- medium rare to rare. If you don't like the rare so much, roast it a little longer, in 5 minute increments, only cutting into the meat in one place to check for done-ness. And be careful of those veggies -- they may get a little too brown if you leave them in too long, so you can take them out before the meat.

When your meat is done, place it on a cutting board and tent it with foil. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, letting it sort of settle into its own deliciousness. Now, when cutting London Broil, you always want to carve against the grain. This is important. If you don't cut against the grain, the meat will be stringy and weird.

Makes 8 servings. Serve with the veggies and maybe some nice, crusty rolls. I like the Take-and-Bake breads at Harris Teeter because then you get the nice, baked bread smell into the house with very little effort. Also, the french loafs usually are around only 100 -- 140 calories per serving.

Meat, how do I love thee? let me count the ways... 300 ways. Because that's the total calories in this meal: 300.

NEW feature from the Dainty Deb: Music to listen to while you prepare!
For this dish, you want some snappy little songs, because this is a quick recipe to make, but chopping all those veggies might make you bored. Here are my suggestions:

Old 97s "Big Brown Eyes" (because all eyes will be on your sweet meat treat)
The Four Tops "I Can't Help Myself" (you can help yourself to some more delicious meat!)
Ram Jam's "Black Betty" (the beat will get you chopping and cocking your hips in tandem)
Spencer Davis' "Gimme Some Lovin" (that's what he said)

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