How to Cook Beef Chuck Mock Tender Steak – A Complete Guide

Mock tender steak is an underappreciated cut of beef that comes from the chuck primal or shoulder region. With its beefy flavor and unique texture, mock tender steak can make for a tasty and budget-friendly meal when cooked properly.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk through everything you need to know to cook delicious mock tender steaks, from identifying the cut to braising and seasoning techniques. You’ll also find a simple recipe to try this underutilized steak yourself Let’s get started!

What is Mock Tender Steak?

The mock tender steak is cut from the supraspinatus muscle of the chuck primal It’s sometimes called chuck tender steak, Scotch tender steak, or shoulder tender steak as well

Mock tender resembles the tenderloin in shape, but it is anything but tender. As a hard-working muscle, mock tender contains a lot of connective tissue. This makes the raw steak tough, fibrous, and chewy.

However, through the right cooking methods, mock tender’s plentiful collagen can be transformed into succulent, fork-tender meat. The key is slow, moist heat cooking to break down those tough fibers.

How to Choose Quality Mock Tender Steaks

When purchasing mock tender steaks, look for the following characteristics:

  • Uniform coloration without excessive dark bruising
  • Visible cube-like pattern from blade tenderizing
  • Moderate marbling throughout the steak
  • 0.5-1 inch thickness (thinner cut steaks risk overcooking)
  • Trim, even edges without shredding or tearing

Lower quality mock tender may have irregular, ragged edges or minimal marbling.

Seasoning and Marinating Mock Tender Steak

To boost flavor and moisture, seasoning and marinating are highly recommended for mock tender steaks. Consider the following options:

  • Dry rubs – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder
  • Wet marinades – Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire, garlic, rosemary

Let the steaks marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight for more flavor infusion.

How to Cook Mock Tender Steak for Tenderness

Mock tender steak calls for slow, moist cooking methods to achieve a tender texture. Here are the top techniques:

  • Braising – Browning then slowly simmering in broth, wine, or sauce
  • Stew – Simmering in flavorful liquid as part of a beef stew
  • Slow roasting – Roasting with moisture (broth/sauce) in a 300-325°F oven
  • Slow cooker – Low and slow cooking in a crockpot with sauce

These methods allow the meat’s collagen to break down into gelatin, leaving the steak succulent and easy to chew.

Step-by-Step Braised Mock Tender Recipe

This easy braised mock tender steak recipe transforms the tough cut into a delicious dinner in about 2 hours.


  • 1.5 lbs mock tender steak, 0.5-1 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear steaks 2-3 minutes per side until well browned. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes until softened.
  4. Pour in beef broth and stir in tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Add seared steaks back to the liquid.
  5. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 2 hours, flipping steaks occasionally, until fork tender.
  6. Remove steaks and bay leaf. Simmer sauce to thicken if desired.
  7. Slice steaks against the grain and serve braising sauce on the side.

The low, slow braising tenderizes the meat while the aromatics and beef broth add savory flavor. Serve atop mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, or buttered noodles.

Key Takeaways for Cooking Mock Tender Steak

  • Look for quality mock tender steaks with even texture, marbling, and trim edges
  • Season or marinate the steaks to boost flavor and moisture
  • Employ slow, moist-heat cooking methods like braising or stewing
  • Cook to falling apart tenderness, around 2 hours for braising
  • Let steak rest before slicing across the grain for a tender bite

How To Make Mini Chuck Tender Steaks


What is the best way to cook a mock tender steak?

Because mock tender steak is so fibrous, high heat (such as grilling or broiling) only makes the meat drier and harder. The optimal cooking method for this steak—and most chuck cuts, for that matter—is braising. Braising involves three steps: Brown the meat by searing it in a hot pan.

What is the best way to cook chuck tender steaks?

Pan-Seared Chuck Steak Pan-searing is a go-to method for many steak enthusiasts. With this method, you’ll sear each side of the steak in a hot pan with oil or butter, then turn down the heat to allow the steak to continue cooking to your desired doneness. Preheat a large pan to high heat with 1 tbsp of oil or butter.

Is mock tender good steak?

Mock tender is a lean cut taken from the shoulder blade of the animal. Despite the name, it’s not very tender. For the best eating experience, roast or braise mock tender, or cut it up for stew meat.

What is a beef chuck mock tender roast?

Chuck Tender Roast | Lean Also Known As: Chuck Filet; Medallion Pot Roast; Mock Tender Roast; Scotch Tender. Lean roast that requires slow-cooking to tenderize. Butcher’s Note. Also referred to as “Mock Tender” Roast because it has a similar appearance to a Tenderloin Roast.

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