Sweet and Spicy (and Smoky) London Broil

It’s grilling season!  Honestly I don’t grill as often as I could.  My grill is a little handicapped in that the lid has no handle.  It’s a little tricky to manage when it’s hot.  Still, it was such a beautiful Saturday (80s, low humidity, yay!) that I decided to accept the challenge.

I had one real piece of meat still in the freezer from last season – a 2 pound flank steak from Greenway Beef.  Clearly I saved some of the best for last.   The lovely Greenway folks recommend a dry rub.  No need to marinate pasture fed beef that tastes this good on its own.  The other cooking guidance is to cook pasture fed meats at a lower temperature and for less time than grain fed and/or chemically enhanced meats.  Done and done.

I followed the recipe here except that I used smoked paprika instead of sweet and a cut out 2 of the 2 tablespoons of oil.  They just aren’t necessary.  Next time I might use half sweet and half smoked.  Using too much of the smoked can cause the slightest bitterness.  Still this was mighty good.  I patted the meat with paper towels to dry it and then applied the rub while the meat was cold.  I left it on the counter to come to room temperature before putting it on a well heated grill.  A couple of things here.  Do always bring meat to room temperature before cooking it.  It’s a muscle and it will seize up if you expose it to drastic changes in temperature.  It will be tough.  Also, you don’t need a lot of oil (or any really) to keep things from sticking to the grill or pan.  What you need is heat and patience.  Make sure that you heat the grill grate to high before putting the meat on the grill.  Then don’t move it until it’s ready to flip.  You can adjust the temperature as needed once the meat is cooking.  The outside of the meat will caramelize and prevent any sticking.

This beef is so, so good and the rub adds just enough additional flavor to turn it into something special.  One advantage that a rub has over a marinade is that it makes the meat much more versatile.  We’ll have a chance to test that this week.  Since this is a 2 pound piece of beef and I’m only one person you’ll be seeing this beef in a few other iterations over the next several days.  Something else to keep in mind if you are cooking a large piece of beef and anticipate having leftovers.  The ends get done first.  Cook the beef until the ends are the proper degree of doneness and serve the first meal by slicing the ends.  The middle will be more rare than you like.  That means that when you heat it up again it will cook to the right amount of doneness rather than having leftover meat that is overcooked and dry.

I completed tonight’s lovely dinner with some squash and onions seasoned with the leftover beef rub; some steamed sugar snap peas; and a little caprese salad made with the world’s best olive oil and basil from the garden.  All in all the farmers’ market did great tonight!

Good? Oh yes.
Easy? Definitely.
Good for company? Absolutely.
Special shopping? Find a pasture-fed beef supplier. Really.

Sweet and Spicy London Broil

Ingredients

1 flank steak (about 1 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 lime, zested

Directions

Preheat a grill to high. Bring the steaks to room temperature about 20 minutes before cooking.

Mix the olive oil, paprika, sugar, chili powder, salt, chili powder, and zest in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the steak. Lay beef on the grill and reduce the heat to medium.  Grill until just charred and crispy on one side, about 5 minutes on 1 side. Flip the steak and cook until beginning to char, about 5 minutes more or until rare and temperature registers 115 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Place the steak on a cutting board and let rest, tented with foil for about 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and serve.

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