The temperature soared to ninety degrees yesterday, and all I could think about was not cooking, at least in the kitchen. So for dinner I envisioned a cold noodle salad tossed with soy sauce, sesame oil, and herbs, plus a little grilled meat on the side. Top round steak was at the front of the freezer pile, so that’s what we’d be eating — I can’t bring myself to unload the entire freezer very often, searching for the perfect cut, even with the weather this warm.

I didn’t think I’d cooked with top round steak before, and on close examination I noted strands of silvery connective tissue in the meat. Being the intrepid home cook that I am, I stirred together a marinade of soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, and pepper. Three hours in the drink, a brief pass over hot flames, and the steak came out tasting very similar to flank. Thumbing through my Food Lover’s Companion this morning, I found that top round steak is also called London Broil. Oh. And apparently I cooked with it in the early days of our local beef project. Turns out I’m not a genius after all. But no matter; the eating was just right. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

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