The Seared London Broil with Shiitake Mushroom Red Wine Sauce and Garlic Cassava Puree combines bold flavors, varied textures and a mix of culinary influences.
The London grill is a cooking method often associated with flank steak or top round steak. It is not a specific cut of beef but rather a way of preparing and serving it. The meat is first marinated, then seared or grilled to achieve a golden crust and pink interior. The high-heat searing method imparts a delicious charred crust on the exterior, which contrasts beautifully with the tender interior. To serve, the meat is sliced thinly against the grain.
Shiitake mushrooms are known for their meaty texture and earthy flavor. Their umami depth is enhanced by the robust notes of the red wine, producing a sauce that is rich, flavorful and slightly tangy. The sauce provides a lush contrast to the lean meat, making each bite juicy and flavorful.
Cassava, also known as yuca, is a root vegetable with a starchy, neutral taste, similar to potatoes. When boiled and mashed with garlic and butter, it becomes a creamy and flavorful side dish. The creaminess of the cassava puree is a comforting contrast to the char of the meat and the richness of the sauce. The garlic infusion gives it a sweet, aromatic touch that adds another layer of flavor to the dish.
What is cassava?
Cassava, also known as yuca, is a starchy tuberous root native to South America. Cassava’s resilience to drought, poor soil quality and its ability to grow in different climates have made it an essential crop in many developing countries. Its versatility in cooking, combined with its importance as a source of calories, has solidified its role as a vital staple in many cultures around the world. It has become a staple in various cuisines, including those of South America, Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
The root vegetable has an elongated shape with a rough, brown, bark-like skin. The internal flesh can vary from white to yellowish. Cassava has a mild, almost neutral taste with a somewhat grainy texture. Once cooked, it becomes softer and can be likened to potatoes in terms of culinary versatility.
The combination of these components creates a harmonious plate where the boldness of the London grill is matched and enhanced by the shiitake red wine sauce. The creaminess of the garlicky cassava puree provides a comforting balance, ensuring that the dish doesn’t feel too heavy or overwhelming. The pink hues of the sliced London Broil, the deep color of the sauce and the creamy texture of the cassava create an appetizing and sophisticated plate presentation.
Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro can be sprinkled on top for added color and a burst of freshness. I chose to top the cassava puree with chimichurri sauce, a mixture of chopped cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and ground black pepper.