To inaugurate our new series, KosherEye is asking the first question: What various cuts can be used for London Broil factoring in: Most tender? Cost? Preparation?
June Hersh, The Kosher Carnivore:
Despite what many of us think, "london broil" is not a cut of meat, but rather a cooking method – hence the pretentious quotes. What we term "london broil" has little to do with England, but lots to do with the preparation. The meat is generally cut as a long and thick piece ideal for grilling or broiling. Your butcher will most likely create the piece to be at least 12 inches long and no less than 1–inch thick, although to achieve a nice char on the outside and a rare finish on the inside, I prefer at least a 2–inch thickness and a temperature reading of about 130–135 degrees.
I turned to an expert butcher to help get to the meat of the matter. According to Park East Kosher in New York City, there are three preferred types of "london broil". The first and most expensive they call a split filet and it is cut from the top of the shoulder. The meat is lean and juicy and contains little fat. Their next choice would be cut from the main portion of the shoulder and is from the same region of the shoulder as a shoulder steak. It is a bit chewier than the meat cut from the top of the shoulder and therefore less desirable and less expensive. Their third choice would be a "london broil" cut from the neck area, what many butchers label shell steak. It is a bit fattier than the other two cuts and its price reflects that difference.
No matter which "london broil" you choose, they will all benefit from a nice soak in a good marinade. Be sure yours includes a solid base such as beef broth, soy sauce or oil and an acid to help flavor and tenderize the meat such as; lemon juice, orange juice or vinegar. Toss in some fresh herbs, kosher salt and pepper and let the meat marinate in the fridge for several hours. Always dry the meat off before cooking; wet meat will not brown as well. If broiling, be sure to keep it a safe distance from the heat source to avoid a flare up. The best idea is to don a winter coat or for those of you in warmer climates, toss it on a hot grill and let the fire transform it into a delicious and savory piece of meat. Simply cut it against the grain and enjoy!
I look forward to answering your meat & poultry questions and what I don't know, I will research and find an answer. Fire away!