What is Mock Tender Roast?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A mock tender roast is so named because it is anything but tender if it is not specially prepared. It is a cut of beef that may also be called chuck steak, chuck tender steak, or shoulder tender, among other names. It can also be sold as a steak rather than as a roast, depending upon the way the meat is cut. The meat is cut along what is called the chuck primal, which is the area of the animal that begins at the neck, includes the shoulder and ends at the fifth rib.

Braised or stewed beef often pairs well with red wine.
Braised or stewed beef often pairs well with red wine.

Most chuck steak cuts like the mock tender roast are known for excellent flavor. Unfortunately, you may miss the flavor if you have to chew a tough piece of meat. For this reason, this cut is often prepared by braising or stewing the meat using moist cooking methods that help to soften the meat and make it easier to chew. Marinating the meat in advance, especially if the mock tender roast is cut into kabobs, can also help break down some of the toughness.

Chuck cuts tend to be less expensive on average than other more tender sections of beef. It can therefore be worth it to go to the extra trouble of braising or stewing, since you’ll usually save money on price per pound. One particularly popular way of preparing the mock tender roast is using the cut to make pot roast, which is baked in liquids or occasionally prepared on the stove. Some recipes still advocate marinating the meat prior to baking, or seasoning the meat for a few hours before cooking it.

Many chefs recommend using wine or any other acidic substance to help produce some breakdown of the fibrous tissue in this beef cut. Red wine is a particularly good pairing for braising, stewing or for pot roasts. If you don’t care for wine, you can use other acids, like a small amount of vinegar to create a more tender roast.

If you’re buying mock tender roast from the butcher store, you can request that the roast be cut thin or halved if you’d rather cook the roast as a steak. One way to prepare thinner cuts is to marinate them, preferably overnight, and then grill them. If they are served in very thin slices, the steak variant is usually easier to eat. Seasonings and marinade can easily substitute this cut for other more expensive cuts like tri-tip.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I make this all the time as a pot roast. It's better than a pot roast. I take a packet of McCormick's Au Jus and a packet of McCormick's beef stew dry mix and dissolve both of them in warm water - just mix them in a two cup measuring cup to dissolve. Put the roast on a rack in a large six to eight quart pot and pour the mixture over the top. Cut up some onions and put on top. Cut up potatoes and carrots and put them in. Then fill the pot with water all the way over the top of everything.

Cook it, covered, in a 375 degree oven for five to six hours. It will be fork tender when done. It pulls apart just like pulled pork. You can use the juice (it's not thick) to put over potatoes, carrots and meat. You can also use the leftover meat for roast beef sandwiches on potato rolls (pull it apart) or for tacos or burritos. The leftover juice (strained) makes a great stock for soup also.


I fixed one of these last week in the manner described on the package. It tasted about like dog food smells. We could not eat it and I would never try another one.


Can anyone else share some great uses for mock tender roasts? I am a bit of a novice cooking enthusiast and always looking for new cuts of meats to use and fun recipes to try.

I have found a recipe that calls for chopping the mock tender roast up and using it as a key ingredient in stew, alongside tomato and basil. Do you think that this cut of meat offers a rich enough flavor with this kind of preparation? Also, how do I know if I overcook it?

I try to follow recipe directions as closely as possible, but sometimes find it difficult to judge when meat is done just right.


If you are interested in using a mock tender roast to make a good meal, I would suggest trying it as a pot roast. I find that cooking it this way really helps to keep the meat soft, and also has an amazing flavor when you are finished.

All you do is take a roast pan, add about an inch of water and lay the meat in it. Toss in sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and add in some salt, pepper and garlic to taste.

Put this roast in the oven and cook it at about 325 degrees for 1 to 2 hours. Check it periodically to see if the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

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