Pan-Fried London Broil

Pan-Fried London Broil

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An easy London Broil recipe that highlights the bold, beefy flavor of top round steak and requires very little work.

Your only job as a cook is to avoid overcooking the meat. This cut of beef should be served medium-rare.

The best thing about this recipe, apart from its wonderfully beefy flavor, is how easy is to make. It’s a simple recipe that highlights the bold flavor of top round steak and requires very little work.

London broil is traditionally prepared by broiling or grilling a marinated top round steak or flank steak, then cutting the steak into thin strips. However, I like to cook it on the stove, in a cast-iron skillet.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients
  • Instructions
  • Expert tip
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Serving suggestions
  • Storing leftovers
  • Related recipes
  • Recipe card

Ingredients

You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:

For the marinade: Balsamic vinegar, soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative), Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and cumin. You can use any mustard you like, but I do like the creaminess and flavor of Dijon mustard.

Top round steak: I usually get it at the butcher counter at Whole Foods.

Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the steak could end up too salty.

Instructions

The detailed instructions for making this recipe are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of the steps.

London broil is very lean and very flavorful. But it can easily become tough. To make sure your steak comes out tender, you need to do three things:

Marinate the beef prior to cooking. Marinating, especially with a marinade that contains vinegar, tenderizes the meat.

Cook the steak to rare (120 degrees F), and certainly to no more than medium-rare (135 degrees F). Note that the USDA will disagree with me on this one, though. They want you to cook steaks to medium.

Slice the cooked steak thinly. Slicing it thinly is another trick that aids with chewing it. Note that other tough cuts of beef, such as flank steak and skirt steak, are also sliced thinly.

Expert tip

In terms of the level of doneness, I can’t stress enough how important it is to cook this particular cut of beef lightly. Rare is best, and as you can see in the photos, that’s how I like to cook it. But definitely don’t cook it to more than medium-rare.

When cooked to medium or medium-well, it can become tough and difficult to chew, regardless of how long it has been marinated.

The CDC, though, wants us to cook steaks to medium (145 degrees F). So this is really a personal decision. But if you prefer to cook meat to medium, it’s probably best to go with cuts of beef that are more tender, such as tenderloin or even sirloin.

Frequently asked questions

What cut is a London broil?

This recipe is typically made from the top round. The round is the rear leg of the cow and it’s divided into the eye round, bottom round, and top round.

The top round is a tough cut that requires overnight marinating and a quick high-heat cooking method.

What if my steak is still frozen?

If you have a frozen top round steak, it’s perfectly fine to marinate it while it’s still frozen. I do it often. Simply place the frozen steak in a resealable bag with the marinade and place it in the fridge overnight.

Should I add oil to the skillet?

If your cast iron skillet is well seasoned, there’s no need to add oil to the pan before frying the steak. If you’d like to add fat to the skillet, it’s best to use fats that are appropriate for high heat cooking, such as avocado oil or ghee.

Serving suggestions

This is such a versatile main dish. You can serve it with any side, really. I often serve it with mashed cauliflower and steamed asparagus. It’s also very good with sauteed mushrooms.

Storing leftovers

You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Thinly sliced and served cold, they make the perfect salad topping! I also like to make myself a plate of cold slices with some fresh-cut veggies and quick pickles.

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Recipe card

Stovetop London Broil Recipe

An easy London Broil recipe that highlights the bold, beefy flavor of top round steak and requires very little work.

Prep Time4 hrs 15 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time4 hrs 25 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 279kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 lbs. top round steak 1 – 1.25 inches thick
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and cumin. Place the steak in a Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and rub it all over the steak. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the bag on a plate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. If you’re home while the steak is marinating, flip it once in a while.

  • Remove the steak from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking, to allow it to reach room temperature.

  • Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes.

  • Remove the steak from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle it on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the steak in the hot skillet. Cook it for 3 minutes without moving. Flip to the other side (it should be deeply browned and slightly charred on the first side) and cook for 3 more minutes, again without moving it.

  • Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the heat. Tent it with foil, and allow the steak to rest – and finish cooking from the skillet’s heat – for 5 minutes.

  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board. Slice it very thinly and serve.

NOTES

If you have a frozen top round steak, it’s perfectly fine to marinate it while it’s still frozen. I do it often. Simply place the frozen steak in a resealable bag with the marinade and place it in the fridge overnight.

The best way to ensure that the steak is done to your liking is by using an instant-read thermometer. Rare is 120-130 degrees F (a warm red center). Medium-rare is 130-135 degrees F (mostly pink center with some red in the middle).

The CDC recommends cooking meat, poultry, and eggs thoroughly.

ADD YOUR OWN NOTES

DISCLAIMERSMost of our recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Nutrition info is approximate and the carb count excludes non-nutritive sweeteners. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Please read our Terms of Use carefully before using any of our recipes.

NUTRITION PER SERVING

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 721mg

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About the Author

Vered DeLeeuw, LL.M., CNC, has been following a low-carb real-food diet and blogging about it since 2011. She’s a Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), has taken courses at the Harvard School of Public Health, and has earned a Nutrition and Healthy Living Certificate from Cornell University. Her work has appeared in several major media outlets, including Healthline, HuffPost, Today, Women’s Health, Shape, and Country Living. Click to learn more about Vered.

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