01 February 2007

Chestnut Tagliatelle With Mushrooms

I'd never tasted London Broil until my husband, in the early days of our marriage, tossed together a quick meal of it with French fries on the side and deli cole slaw.

The meat was a surprise to me: I thought London Broil was something you made from scratch. Somehow I missed the fact that it can be purchased in a cute little spiral shapes in most meat departments.

London Broil is not a cut of meat, but a way of preparing either flank steak or top round roast. It can be a bit tough, since it's threaded with muscle, so marination is necessary. It is not London at all. In fact, it is a purely American invention, I am told.

You can certainly prepare your own London Broil, of course, and when you do, it looks different than those little meat department packages. But since at our house it's a meal reserved for nights of limited time and energy, we purchase it. I marinate it for several hours in red wine and olive oil with garlic and onion. I spread a bit of crushed garlic on top, along with a very small amount of mustard and some dried herbes de Provençe and stick it under the broiler, turning often. When the meat is finished, I top it with sel de fleur and freshly ground pepper.

One of these days, I will make it instead of buying it and then report back. Maybe during spring break, when I only have my day job to worry about.

Here's what accompanied our London Broil last night: Quick Chestnut Tagliatelle with Mushrooms.


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 8 ounces button and crimini mushrooms, slice or quartered
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • dash sel de fleur
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces chest tagliatelle
  • grated Parmesan cheese


Pour stock into heavy sauce pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, wine, tomato purée and soy sauce. Cook under medium heat for about five minutes. Continue to boil until liquid is reduced by about half. Add chopped herbs, a dash of salt and pepper.

Toss with freshly cooked and drained tagliatelle and top with Parmesan cheese.

Note: The chestnut pasta offers a slightly sweet taste that contrasts nicely with the earthy mushrooms. You could certainly use other pastas.

The dish passed My Ultimate Test: It tasted better the next day.

P.S. Am I the only lazy slug who uses store-bought London Broil? Anybody else want to share techniques or marinades?

19 comments:

Glenna said...

MMMMM....looks delicious!

Lu said...

I just bought some chestnut flour to make homemade fettucine. Wherever did you find chestnut taglietelle?!! Lucky you! I love chestnuts - perhaps because that, too, reminds me of Paris. Nice dish, Mimi.

Mimi said...

It was, Glenna!

Believe it or not, we have an Italian market here, Lu and it was in the gourmet food section. I tried to post a link but it did not work.

The brand is Rustichella d' Abruzzo.

cityfarmer said...

This is fancy shmancy for a Friday night supper....we're having chili

Mimi said...

It was really pretty easy, CF.

Hmm, chili, now you're talking — perfect for the coldest weekend of the year.

Lydia said...

Feel free to send this entire meal to our house in Rhode Island any time! Weekday, weekend....it looks and sounds entirely wonderful.

Mimi said...

A good winter meal it was, Lydia.

We are expecting a cold snap here — so I've stocked up on lean meats and vegetables. It should be a delicious weekend.

Kristen said...

As always Mimi, such a pleasure reading your blog!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You mean like the bisquick I used tonight.
Your meal looks divine!

f2b said...

Did you say mushrooms? I'm in!

Mimi said...

Kristen, thank you, I feel the same about your blog.

Tanna, I love it! Don't tell the foodie police.

F2B, my mother and her friends dislike mushrooms and wonder why their kids love them — if only they knew what they are missing!

FarmgirlCyn said...

Even with the little I know about you, Mimi, "lazy slug" would not be one of my definitions! As for the London Broil, I don't think I have ever had it. I have always thought it was a cut of meat. Flank steak is one of my favorites...but as you said, MUST be marinated to be chewable. I will have to look for the London Broil at the local grocers. Do you have Meijers grocery up your way?

Mimi said...

No, we don't, Cyn. But I have heard of that chain. We have IGA, Aldi's and the Italian markets.

Without marinade: Shoe Leather!

Jann said...

Cooking a London Broil has always been a challenge for me-sometimes it's just too tough. I have to marinate it for a long time. I always am hoping and praying to get a great piece of meat from the grocery.....sometimes i don't!Your recipe looks really delicious! I have missed you for a few days-been away and will be off again soon!

Mimi said...

Jann, I missed you!

Laura Florand said...

I forgot to pay attention to the meat and cooked it absolutely gray, but the pasta was delicious! I can't comment on the "better the second day" part, though. I don't know if 2 people are supposed to be able to eat up that much pasta, but we did.

I hope you are not completely frozen up there in Wisconsin today.

Mimi said...

Laura, I've done that, too. I only got the hang of cooking beef a few years ago. And that was after many years of gray leathery stuff.

It was cold, I mean brutal.

Laura Florand said...

I tried this pasta (not the beef) again the other night, with a slight inspiration from the last time I made boeuf bourguignon. I used about half a pack of thick-sliced bacon, diced. Sautéd that until cooked but not crispy, added the onions and garlic and sautéd those with it, then drained off the excess fat and followed the rest of your recipe from there. I also put a little bit more beef broth into it, but just because I always freeze (and therefore thaw out) extra beef broth in one-cup containers.

It made a great, easy meal by itself that way, even without the London Broil. I really love this recipe of yours! It's turned into one of our favorites.

Mimi said...

The beauty of cooking is that we can all put our own thumbprint on recipes — and sometimes just one littel difference makes it seem like a new recipe.

I have a huge French cookbook — posted about it in mid-October — and it's pretty much based on some basic recipes that are used and tweaked in 1000s of diiferent ways.