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The Kitchenman: A beefy treat from the Wellington Hotel

This week, The Kitchenman revisits a recipe from the days of the old Wellington Hotel on Wyndham Street
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The Wellington Hotel at the top of Wyndham Street. GuelphToday file photo

The Wellington Hotel still stands proud today being built in 1877 during a long province-wide depression.

Construction of this majestic hotel structure was financed by a company called the Wellington Hotel Company managed by a group of local businessmen guaranteeing finances for this huge project. It was great boom for local building tradesman. The ornate building fit the triangular plot of land perfectly.

In 1878, the impressive Wellington Hotel opened for business. Lots of interesting tales about the many decades as a recognised fully functional quality establishment by the both public and resident guests. It was located at the perfect Guelph intersection showing off the huge hand-hewn stone blocks stretching its large triangular foot print down Wyndham at Woolwich Street.

Back in 1968 I took a room for weekly rent that had a shared washroom facility and weekly room cleaning service. It was user friendly and the hotel was well run, being clean and organized. It was close to my job and I was waiting to soon move into the newly built Saginaw Towers.

I liked living downtown having the Odeon Cinema across the street and several eateries like the Peacock and the Treanon along with the arena and the local pool hall only a short walk away. The hotel had an active beverage bar room back then I recall named the Boiler Room.

The dining room was a small breakfast lunch nook and a larger restaurant called The Sir-Loin Room. After a long shift I found that the restaurant served up some great home comfort style meals. I remember one of my weekly favourites was the London beef broil. The cook made a tasty inexpensive meal that most of the hotel residents approved of.

The beef eaters london broil recipe:

This cut of meat either has to be cooked at at a high temperature quickly charring or by stewing for longer times to obtain an edible non chewy texture. It takes some practice, but is an economical cut of beef. To get some good protein and a big flavour taste of a lean beef roast this would be a great recipe to perfect.

2 pounds top round, London Broil cut.

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp tarragon vinegar

1 tbs beef soup base. [Knorr works well.]

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp seasoning salt (Hy’s works well.)

Score top and bottom of meat with a sharp knife 1 1/2 inch square pattern, and score the sides as well.

Sprinkle meat liberally with an unflavoured meat tenderizer, then pierce with fork 1/8 inch apart and at least half-way through the meat on both sides.

Sprinkle lightly with water, and rub in tenderizer.

Place on a plate, cover, and set aside for an hour or two.

In a small bowl, mix together oil, lemon juice, seasoned salt, lemon pepper, garlic, parsley, and tarragon vinegar.

Pour the seasoned marinade over meat, reserving a portion to be used for brushing the roast while browning on high heat. After it has been fully browned pour the remaining marinade over meat and cover the dish refrigerating for at least three hours, turning every half hour or so. To serve preheat a cast iron grill pan or broiler pan for very hot heat.

Lightly oil the grates, and position it two inches below the broiler heat source.

Place meat on cast iron grill or broiler pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn meat over, brush with marinade, and cook for another 5 minutes. Cover with some foil and let rest.

Set up the warm dinner plates with some boiled new potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes along with some roasted carrots onions and peppers. I served some plain hot mustard or horseradish mayonnaise on the side.