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Grilling Santa Fe style: London Broil Dunigan

Rosalea Murphy’s restaurant The Pink Adobe, opened in 1944, has left her family’s hands. New owners, Isabelle and Leonard Koomoa, have not only promised to keep the old beloved dishes on the menu, they are bringing back some old favorites that have been lost over the years. Rosalea’s famous Steak Dunigan lives on.

London broil on the grill photo by Steve Collins

London broil for London Broil Dunigan on the grill, photo Steve Collins

The story goes that Rosalea created this recipe, using mushrooms and green chiles, for a regular customer, Pat Dunigan (owner of the ranch that is today the federally owned and operated Valles Caldera National Preserve). It was such a big hit she added it to the menu. The classic recipe calls for a separate green chile topping and mushroom topping, both added when it is served. I’ve simplified it by combining both to a single topping. The recipe here works well with London broil. The term “London broil” actually refers to the method of preparation, not a specific cut. For marketing, butchers have labeled cuts of flank or round as London broil. These are normally cuts used for slow cooking. For fast cooking methods, the tenderness is achieved by thinly slicing the meat at a 90 degree angle to the grain. Slicing it this way shortens the fibers so that they aren’t long and stringy. This is an easy summer dinner served with a mixed green salad.

London broil Dunigan photo by Steve Collins

London broil Dunigan plated and ready to serve, photo/Steve Collins

Serves 2

1 ½ LB London broil, one and a half inches thick

Rub:
2 tablespoons powdered Chimayó red (or other) chile
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried and powdered chipotle
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients well. Store in a covered container.

Topping Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cup roasted New Mexico green, chopped (If you can’t find New Mexico green chile, use canned green chiles but New Mexico chiles are best)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ LB Crimini mushrooms, sliced

Mix the rub ingredients and generously coat all sides of the meat. Refrigerate the meat until ready to cook. Prepare a hot grill. While the grill is heating, prepare the topping. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onions and chiles. Cook for two minutes. Add the oregano and mix well, then add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until the steak is cooked and sliced. Put the meat on the grill and cook for three minutes, turn the meat over and cook for three more minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and the preferred doneness* (see note). Remove the meat from the grill and let it sit for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to settle and for the meat to cook a tiny bit more. Slice thinly across the grain and serve with the topping.

*Note: For more doneness, some people (grilling experts Bill and Cheryl Jamison , for example) recommend a two stage fire. To do this on a charcoal grill, build a fire on one side that is two or three layers of coals deep. On the other side of the grill build a fire that is one layer deep. If you are using a gas grill, set one burner to and one to low/medium heat. In both cases, after you have seared the meat on both sides on the hot fire (about two minutes to a side) move it to the cooler fire to continue cooking to your desired degree of doneness (another two minutes each side). Let rest before slicing.

 

 

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