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What to Do with Leftover Steak That Is Too Tough

What to Do with Leftover Steak That Is Too Tough
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There is no sense in tossing out leftover tough steak, or even feeding it to your dog, because there are so many food creations you can use it for. From a delicious stir fry to a yummy salad featuring steak, this article includes several recipes that you can try out with leftover tough steak.

Before we delve into the recipes, though, let’s take a look at some ways you can make already-cooked, tough steak more tender.

Make Cooked Steak More Tender

You can use a marinade to make steak more tender

Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to get your leftover steak to be less tough. The first thing you can try to do is cut the steak up in general, but if you slice it against the meat fibers, you can get the fibers looser and make the steak more tender.

Many people are under the impression that pounding meat with a tenderizing mallet will only work prior to cooking it, but this is actually not the case. You can use a mallet to soften up the steak after it has been cooked as well, so you can utilize this method to make your leftover steak less tough.

Another way to soften up your steak is by adding marinade or a tenderizing sauce to it. Additionally, adding your meat to a stew or braising it can also help it become more tender, since it is being submerged in juices and it adds moisture to the steak.

Recipes for Using Leftover Steak

Now that you know of some ways to get your tough, leftover steak more tender, you can try out one or more of the recipes below to use up that leftover meat.

Steak Stir Fry

You can make a steak stir fry with leftover steak

There are not many individuals in this world who don’t love a good stir fry. You can add your leftover steak to a skillet or wok with some veggies and soy sauce (or a different Asian-inspired sauce), and put it over rice or noodles.

A favorite combination is a mix of carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, baby corn, water chestnuts, yellow and red peppers, broccoli, onion, and a couple garlic cloves.

You can use some or all of these vegetables, or design your own stir fry recipe. One great feature about this dish is that it is so versatile.

Philly Cheesesteak

You can make Philly cheesesteaks with leftover steak

You just can’t go wrong with a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Since leaving Philadelphia, it has reached all regions of the United States because it is simply that scrumptious.

There are not many ingredients to this beloved sandwich. Aside from your leftover steak, you will only need a couple slices of provolone cheese (or any cheese you want, really), a sliced onion and green pepper, and a hoagie roll.

You can also include some jalapeños on your Philly cheesesteak if you want some extra heat.

You can caramelize the onion and green pepper slices if you wish to make them tender and add an extra burst of flavor to the sandwich. As far as the steak goes, you can cut it into thin pieces to stack on the hoagie roll.

Put the pepper and onion slices, as well as jalapeños, if you would like, on top of the pieces of steak, and top it all off with a couple slices of cheese.

To melt the cheese, you can put the sandwich in your oven set to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about five minutes, or you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Steak Quesadillas

You can make steak quesadillas with leftover steak

It is so simple to make a quesadilla of any kind, so why not use your leftover steak for one? Having your steak already cooked eliminates a good deal of time from the process of putting together a quesadilla, making this an extremely quick meal to prepare.

First, cut your leftover steak into narrow strips, and roll them around in a bowl with some chili pepper and a bit of red cayenne pepper. Take a quarter of an onion and a jalapeño, and dice them up.

Next, throw a flour tortilla into a frying pan over medium-low heat. You can add a little butter or oil to the pan beforehand to help it brown and keep it from sticking.

Add your steak strips, diced onion, and diced jalapeño to the tortilla, and then sprinkle a hefty amount of shredded chihuahua cheese on top. Cover the pan with a lid, and let the cheese melt for a bit.

Now, add another tortilla on top of the quesadilla, and press it down to help it stick to the cheese. Turn the quesadilla over, adding more butter to the pan before placing it down.

After both sides of the quesadilla are crispy and browned, you can remove it from the pan. Steak quesadillas go great with lettuce, sour cream, and salsa.

Steak Stroganoff

You can make steak stroganoff with leftover steak

Although stroganoff is best when you get the meat partially cooked in the stew, you can still easily utilize leftover steak for this recipe. While the steak is sitting in the stew, it should help it become more tender.

Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:

  • 1.2 pounds of steak
  • 10 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 2 or 3 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

First, use a tenderizing mallet to pound your leftover steak as flat as possible before cutting it into strips. Using the mallet will help soften up the tough meat.

Next, heat the butter up in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it has melted, add the diced onion, and cook it for a minute or so.

After this, add the sliced mushrooms, and cook them until they are a nice golden color. Next, put the flour in with the mushrooms and onion, and stir the mixture for about a minute.

Continue stirring while you add half of the beef broth. Once it is combined, pour in the other half of the broth.

After you have gotten the second half combined, add the Dijon mustard and sour cream, and mix them into the food. Then, bring the mixture to a simmer, and turn the heat down to medium-low.

After about three to five minutes have passed, the mixture should have thickened up to the consistency you need it to be. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper to taste, and add your leftover steak to the mixture.

Let the mixture simmer for a minute, and then remove it from the heat right away. Your beef stroganoff is now ready to eat.

You can pick up a type of short noodle, such as egg noodles, or whip up a couple servings of mashed potatoes to put the stroganoff on top of. You can also sprinkle freshly chopped chives over your meal.

Hearty Stew with Steak

You can make steak stew with leftover steak

Although many people opt for buying meat that is specifically for stew, you can just as easily use your leftover steak to make this hearty dish.

This is what you will need:

  • 2 pounds leftover steak
  • 8 ounces halved mushrooms
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 diced celery ribs
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 russet potato, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2-1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

The first step is to heat up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat on the stove top. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and stir every so often until the vegetables brown, which should take about three or four minutes.

Next, add the garlic and mushrooms, and stir the vegetables until the two newly added ingredients have browned. This should take another three or four minutes.

After that, use a whisk to stir in the tomato paste and flour, and stir the mixture for a minute or so, or until it is slightly brown.

Then, add the red wine, making sure to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pot. Next, put the bay leaves, beef stock, and thyme into the pot, and bring it to a boil after combining the ingredients.

After it is boiling, lower the heat to get the mixture to a simmer, and let it cook for a half hour.

Next, add the potato chunks and steak strips into the mixture, and let it simmer until the potato pieces have become tender and the stew’s juices have thickened up. This should take around 20 minutes.

Finally, remove the thyme and bay leaves, add the parsley and any salt and pepper you would like to incorporate, and enjoy your hearty stew with steak.

Steak and Egg Breakfast Hash

You can create an absolutely delicious breakfast hash that includes your leftover tough steak. It is just as good, if not better, than the hash you can find at breakfast diners.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 pound of leftover steak
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 chopped and peeled Russet potatoes
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

The first step you need to take is to put your chopped potatoes into a medium-sized pot, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes.

Next, bring the water to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. After they are tender, take the potatoes out of the pot, set them aside to cool off, and pour the water from the pot.

Then, take a big iron skillet, and place it over medium-high heat on the stove top. Add the onions, red peppers, and then mushrooms to the skillet, and cook the food until the mushrooms have softened, which should take about five or six minutes.

After that, add the cooled potatoes, the smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Cook the food until the potatoes begin to turn brown, which should take five minutes or so.

Next, cut your leftover steak into cubes that are about an inch in size, making your cuts against the grain of the meat to help make it more tender. Cook the food for a few more minutes, making sure your steak gets warmed up.

One way to warm up the leftover steak faster is by leaving it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before heating it. This will help you avoid burning the vegetables while you wait for the steak to get warm.

In your hash that is cooking in the skillet, make four indentations with the back of a spoon, and crack each of your eggs into one of them, sprinkling salt and pepper on them afterward.

Put the lid on the skillet, and let the hash cook until your eggs are done to your preference. This should take between four and seven minutes.

Salad with Steak

You can have a steak salad with leftover steak

One way you can incorporate your leftover tough steak into something healthy is by using it in a salad.

To create a salad that is fresh and full of flavor, use arugula and spinach as the base, and top it with strips of your leftover steak. Then add cherry tomatoes that you have cut in half to get juices flowing onto your salad, sliced cucumbers, and chunks of avocado, which adds a creamy texture to the salad.

For the dressing, balsamic vinegar is the perfect choice as it works very well in combination with the salad’s ingredients. However, feel free to get creative with both the dressing and vegetables you use.

No matter what you opt for in the salad, since steak is involved, you probably can’t go wrong.

Final Thoughts

At this point, it should be obvious to you that utilizing your tough leftover steak is easy and incredibly delicious. It’s possible that you will find yourself wishing you had more leftover steak all the time after trying out the recipes in this article.

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