Is London Broil Steak Originally From England?

What do you know about England's famous Beefeaters? If you're a fan of gin, then you likely recognize the name as one of the most highly-regarded London Dry gins in the world. Maybe you've traveled to London, specifically to the Tower of London, and have seen the actual Beefeaters. As Historic Royal Palaces explains, these 32 men and women in distinctive uniforms are actually known as the Yeoman Warders. They are members of the British military, selected for their exemplary service to serve as the ceremonial guards of the Tower of London. The nickname "Beefeaters" stems from ancient custom that allowed for the guards to eat their fill of meat when dining in the company of the king or queen, notes Great British Mag.

The fact that the Yeoman Warders were so known for their carnivorous allowance, it begs the question: What cut of meat — or beef, more specifically — were they eating with the monarch? The answer to that is lost to time, as there were scant records of what kings or queens of antiquity ate day to day, but if one were to peruse a list of cuts and preparations of beef, one name jumps right out. Could it be that the Beefeaters were eating London Broil?

A cut and a dish

The short answer is no. As Butcher Box points out, one of the places you can't find London Broil is London. Butchers, chefs, and home cooks there have never even heard of the cut that bears the city's name. In fact, it was conceived and cooked first in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Despite being born of the City of Brotherly Love, it is conjectured that perhaps it was given the London moniker to imbue it with an air of sophistication.

So what exactly is a London Broil? The answer isn't exactly straightforward. Steak Revolution points out that the name applies to both a preparation and a cut of beef. If you're at your grocer or the butcher and see London Broil, you're almost assuredly looking at a flank steak. The flank steak is a lean cut that can be tough if not prepared with due care. It must be cooked quickly and sliced thin and across the grain to ensure that the meat is properly tender.

In restaurants and cookbooks, London Broil is still often flank steak, but one that has been bathed in a piquant marinade for several hours before being seared and sliced. For example, our recipe calls for soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard, among other ingredients, to deliver a kick that matches the assertive beefiness of flank steak. As Steak Revolution mentions, London Broil might also be prepared with top round, another lean, beefy cut that lends itself to strong seasoning and a solid sear.