Grilled Marinated London Broil

This grilled marinated London broil is the perfect steak to cook for four to six people. You only have one steak to mind and flip and it spends more time on the grill than smaller steaks so gets to absorb more smoky flavor.

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What is London Broil?

Many of us think you go to a grocery store or butcher and buy a London Broil, but “London Broil” does not actually refer to a specific cut of beef, but a way of cooking a steak. London Broil is usually a flank steak or top round which is marinated and then, as the name would suggest, broiled to medium-rare and sliced before serving. These days, lots of meat counters do label a top round steak as a “London Broil”, making it easy to find the right cut of beef for this grilled marinated London Broil.

A white dinner plate with grilled marinated London broil, broccoli and grilled potatoes with more steak on a platter in the background.

Broiled or Grilled

To broil something is to cook with intense radiant heat from above. Grilling is almost the same method, but the heat source is from below. It’s true – we don’t call this method of cooking a London Grill, but grilling is perfectly acceptable.

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A raw top round steak on a blue cutting board with ingredients and a needle tenderizer near by.

Best Way to Tenderize London Broil

Because London broil refers to a flank steak or a top round, it is critical that you tenderize and marinate the steak before broiling or grilling. Both cuts of beef are flavorful, but tend to be tough and need some help to become tender. Tenderizing is the first step. You could use a needle-style tenderizer (as in the photo above) or you could just use your paring knife and pierce the meat on both sides. This way of tenderizing will cut through muscle fibers in the meat and also create channels in the meat allowing the marinade to penetrate more easily.

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Top round steak marinating in a zipper sealable plastic bag.

Marinating London Broil

Marinating the steak is the next step in helping to tenderize. This grilled marinated London Broil has a delicious red wine marinade that serves as a marinade and as a basting and finishing sauce. It’s full of flavor and helps keep the steak moist. I often say you can shorten marinating times if you really need to, but with a London Broil I really recommend keeping the steak in the marinade overnight. That is the way to get the best flavor and the most tenderness with this tough steak.

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London Broil grilling while being basted.

Grilling and Basting

London Broil is really a meal for medium-rare meat lovers. The steak should really only be cooked to medium at most, but preferably medium-rare because top round is a tough piece of meat and the more you cook the meat, the tougher it will be.  A nice hot grill will give the outside nice color in a shorter amount of time. Baste the steak a few times as it cooks. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of steak you have, so be sure to check how the steak feels or use an instant-read thermometer so you don’t overcook it. Rely more on your own instincts than the suggested cooking times in the recipe and remember that it’s better to undercook than overcook – you can always pop it back on the grill.

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A grilled marinated London broil on a cutting board with a knife.

Cut Across the Grain

When it comes to slicing the steak, you will want to cut “against the grain”. That can be confusing. The “grain” of the meat is the direction that the muscle fibers are running. You’ll see the grain as lines in the meat. It’s easier to identify the grain in certain cuts of meat like flank or skirt steak and often it’s easier to see the grain in raw meat than after it is cooked, so take a look at the steak before you cook it. Once you’ve identified the grain, slice perpendicular to those lines. That is cutting against the grain. It’s important to slice the steak this way because the grain (or muscle fibers) are what causes a steak to be tough. By cutting across these fibers you shorten them and as a result you don’t have to chew the tough meat. If you start slicing and see more pronounced lines in the cross section of the steak, you’ve sliced the wrong way. Don’t fret, just turn the steak 90º and start again.

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Grilled Marinated London Broil sliced on a cutting board with a slicing knife and fresh thyme.

What to Serve with London Broil

This recipe for grilled marinated London Broil is versatile. It is your classic steak meal with a red wine jus so you can serve it with your classic vegetable side dishes like potato galette or a twice baked stuffed potato and a green vegetable or salad. If you want to keep your side dishes on the grill or at least off the stovetop, you could serve this with the refreshing cucumber salad or the hearty and colorful grilled panzanella salad.

Grilled Marinated London Broil

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Marinating Time: 1 day
  • Total Time: 1 day 40 m
  • Servings:
    6

Ingredients

  • 1½- to 2½- pound top round beef steak London Broil, about 1½- to 2-inches thick
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • cups red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. Tenderize the steak by piercing the meat with a needle tenderizer, a fork or a paring knife all over both sides of the top round beef. Generously season both sides of the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place the steak into a zipper sealable plastic bag or non-reactive container.
  2. Make the marinade by whisking together the olive oil, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, thyme and parsley. Reserve and set aside ⅔ cup of the marinade to use as a basting sauce for grilling. Pour the rest of the marinade into the bag or container with the steak. Seal the bag or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Flip the meat over a few times during the marinating process.
  3. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling.
  4. Place the reserved, unused marinade in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.
  5. Pre-heat the grill or stovetop grill pan to medium high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  6. Grill the steak for about 15 to 20 minutes for rare and 20 to 25 minutes for medium, adjusting to accommodate the thickness of your particular steak. Flip the meat over once or twice and baste with the reduced sauce. The meat should register 130°f to 140°F with an instant read thermometer. (If using a stovetop grill pan, sear the London broil on each side for a 2 to 3 minutes then transfer to a 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes to finish cooking.)
  7. Remove the London broil from the grill and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Then, carve it into thin slices across the natural grain of the meat. Transfer to a serving platter, pour or brush any remaining basting sauce over top and garnish with some fresh sprigs of thyme and chopped parsley.
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