Thursday, August 27, 2009

Steven Raichlen Surf & Turf Salmon and London Broil

Greetings... We had a surprise visitor last week. My wife's sister, her new boyfriend and her daughter came to spend the weekend with us. It was a perfect visit. Arrived on Friday night, we enjoyed the day on Saturday, and they left Sunday morning. Relatives, like fish, start to stink after three days. BUT, it was a grand three days, they were very fun, and it is exciting to see my 50 year old sister-in-law giddy as a school girl around her new gentleman friend.

It also gave me a terrific chance to try out not one, but TWO recipes from Steven Raichlen's book, HOW TO GRILL! I had no idea what the friend liked, so a little steak, a little fish, and I was going to be his favorite potential brother-in-law! This was the first time the sister has visited our house, so it was important to my wife that all went well. Another advantage to grilling is that i was able to have all my prep work done and moved outside while my wife perpetuated the myth that we always lived in such a clean house.

But I digress...

I made Steven's Ginger Soy London Broil. Located on page 72 of his book, with two pages of photo guided instructions starting on page 70. Funny thing, I found out there is no cut of beef called London Broil. London Broil is more a description of a serving and carving method for cooking a thicker cut of flank or round steak. I had a nice thick (about 3 inches) cut of top round I had bought a few weeks earlier on sale. 3 pounds of steak for total $8, compares to a top round cut thinner for as much as $8 a pound. London Broil is a bargain.

BUT... it is also a very tough piece of meat. Because the muscle fibers run the length of the cut, it is important to slice against the grain to get a tender taste. That is what makes it London Broil. It also helps to slice at an angle, further slicing into the fibers.

And now, my standard disclaimer...Long time readers of the blog, I am going to start coloring the lettering in the disclaimer, it will be the same for each review, feel free to skip to the standard black colored text...

OK, here's my generic talk about Steven Raichlen and his book...and me... As long time readers know, I am doing my own tribute (rip-off) off the Julie/Julia project, cooking my way through Steven's amazing grill guide, HOW TO GRILL. Unlike Julie, I won't be finishing this in a year, but I will be making an item at least once a week.

A word about reprinting recipes... I asked for some advice a few posts back. I understand that it is done, lots of people do it, and there would be no consequences. But, I decided not to reprint any of Steven's recipes from this book. I have several reasons, first and probably most important to readers, I just think that this is a book that should be in every one's library. Buy the book. It is very detailed, comes highly recommended by someone who cooks on the grill often (me), lots of photos, lots of instruction... Darn near idiot proof. But, most important to me, I want to respect the copyright. In another life, I owned a book store. I have met and socialized with authors, and I have a great deal of respect for the effort it takes to produce a work like this. It may take a couple years, but eventually, I intend to make every single recipe in the book. Starting to reproduce the recipes, intending to do them all would certainly offend me as a book seller, and probably Steven as the copyright holder. Buy the book, Amazon has used copies available for under $7. Worth every penny.

OK, back to the recipe. The meat is marinated, and as you can probably tell from the title, there is an Asian feel to the recipe. I had just done several experiments where I determined that a marinade of this type produced a very tender cut of beef. And sure enough, the finished product was amazing! The cooking method was very similar to cooking the tenderloin I had done a few posts back. I cooked each side for about 8 minutes. I then checked the temp with an instant read thermometer. It read 150 at the thickest part. Unfortunately, i did not have time to foil it for a few hours prior to serving, I did let it sit for ten minutes in order to let the juices settle.

the meat came out a wonderful medium rare. I had enough end pieces that were more done to satisfy my wife's tastes in wanting medium well. It tasted great, was very tender and was a big hit! I stopped cutting pieces pretty much as you see the photo above. I had about half that I rewrapped in foil and let it sit for a couple hours, then refrigerate for lunch the next day. When I opened it up, sure enough, the magic of foiling actually cooked the meat to a more medium look. It warmed up very well, and I can highly recommend this for left overs!

In addition to the steak, I had a nice piece of Salmon in the fridge. I also grilled Steven's Salmon with Mustard Glaze on page 293-294, with detailed photo instructions starting on page 291.

Salmon is a great fish to cook on the grill. Cooking it skin side down makes it almost idiot proof. Not much to say about it as it is sooooo easy. Check the flakiness to check for doneness, and there it is. The mustard sauce is terrific, and this was also a big hit.

2 very simple recipes, two different cooking styles, but they certainly were easy. Not a big stretch for cooking pros, but the thick steak makes a spectacular (inexpensive) presentation item.

This was the first thick cut round steak i had ever bought. I do know, they are on sale often. I will certainly be stocking up on these and have them on hand.

BOTH of these items, on my scale of 1-5, gets a great 5. I Liked each, and will certainly be making each again with little or no alterations. these were winners all!

This is my 15th recipe from Steven's book, about 10%. I am slowly getting there, but just in the brief time I have been working on this challenge, I am a much better outdoor chef. I highly recommend this book, and even more highly recommend you stretch your wings.

Here are the recipes I have made so far, with links to the reviews and notes I made...

Grilled Garlic Parsley Cheese Bread
The recipe is on page 420
This got 5 stars, and comes highly recommended!

Side Dishes...
Garlic Grilled Tomatoes
The recipe is on page 395 This only got 2 stars!

Grilled Pepper Salad
The recipe is on page 385
This got 5 stars, and comes highly recommended!

The recipe is on page 360 This got 5 stars, and comes highly recommended!

The recipe is on page 356 This got 4 stars, recommend it, but would be better marinaded instead of brush glazing while cooking

Main Courses...
Grilled Pork Chops "Calzones"
The recipe is on page 134
This got 4 stars, recommend it, but needs a liquid glaze or sauce to go with it.

Tapenade Pork Loin
The recipe is on page 121
This got 5 stars, and comes highly recommended!

The recipe is on page 205 This got 4 stars, recommend it, but the following chicken is the best I have ever tasted

The recipe is on page 210 This got 5 stars, and comes highly recommended!

The recipe is on page 139 This got 5 stars, and comes highly recommended!

The recipe is on page 98 This got 2 stars, Hardly perfect... read the review

The recipe is on page 50 This got 4 stars, recommend it, but the loins I made with liquid either marinade or wet rub were better

Coconut-Grilled Pineapple
The recipe is on page 427
This got 4 stars, was better when I added shredded coconut

Following dinner on the deck with the romantic lighting, we moved to the firepit for marshmallows


  1. Yum, that salmon looks amazing! How great it would be to be a "surprise visitor" at your house! :D

  2. Now I'm confused. Because here, the butcher sells London Broil as a flank steak stuffed with...well, not sure, but it's ground meat of some kind...then rolled & sliced - pinwheel-like. Hmmmm.

  3. Aww dang. I shouldn't read your blog when I'm hungry! London broil in Canada is as Wandering Coyote describes. It's a round disc of ground pork with flank steak wrapped around it. By the time the pork is cooked through, the flank steak is overdone and TOUGH. Blech! Seems us Canadians are not getting the real deal.

  4. Well, I can certainly site my sources... Steven calls top round OR flank steak.

    But, I did google London Broil and Canada, and sure enough, you are right about what they call a Canadian London Broil...

    In Canada a ground meat patty wrapped in flank or round steak is known as a London broil. Some butchers will wrap the flank steak around a concoction of seasoned and ground or tenderized flank steak (Zehrs Grocers in the GTA). Others sell a pork sausage patty wrapped in flank or top round steak labeled as London broil (Goeman's Lakeshore Meats in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada). The website for Goeman's[1] differentiates between Canadian London broil (the sausage patties wrapped in Top Round Steak) and American London broil (Top Round Steak). Another variant, popularized in Ontario, is a London broil "loaf", wherein the tenderized flank steak exterior is wrapped around minced and spiced veal as the filler. In some regions, bacon will be added between the flank steak and the veal grind.

  5. I am tempted to try one, just for the hell of it. I think my butcher at the local overpriced grocery store uses sausage.

    But maybe Palidor is right; it might be too tough and thus not worth it. Hmmm...

  6. Wandering Coyote, DON'T!!! I've tried it and honestly, the flank steak has the texture and toughness of shoe leather. Not to mention ZERO flavor.

    Wow, Year on the Grill, you sure did your research! Zehrs has locations across Ontario, and that's the London Broil I was referring to.

  7. Everything sounds just fabulous. I'm sure you made an OUTSTANDING impression on everyone. People must be clamoring to be invited back!

    Glad to hear you kept the myth going for your wife. Good and wise man.

  8. The North American Meat Processors apparently have recently tacked on "london broil" as an acceptable alternate name to the cut number 1169 Top Round Steak. I wasn't aware that they had done that, because just a few years ago, there was no such named cut. It was just the name of the recipe.

    I think it must have been one of those, "Well if everybody is going to call it london broil, we might as well too" kind of decisions. Growing up in the grocery industry, we were always taught there was no such cut but if someone asked for it, package top round or flank steak.