Tough Call, Roast Beef Leftovers

Hi Home-Ec 101,

I made a beef roast yesterday and even though it was perfectly rosy on the inside it was still pretty tough… Enough so that I’m not finding the idea of leftovers particularly appetizing. Is there a way I can use the meat up that will correct (or at least disguise) the toughness?


Leathery in Louisiana

Heather says:

My options depend on the original flavoring of the roast itself. If it was simply onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cook the rest of the roast in a crockpot,  in salsa, then shred for chimichangas.

If the roast had other flavors that wouldn’t go well with salsa, slice it as thinly as possible and use it on French dips, beef and cheddar hoagies, or in a beef stroganoff.

How about you, what would you do with a tough piece of roast beef?

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  1. Stacy on November 22, 2009 at 6:15 am

    I had this same situation about a month ago. The best things I did were to make beef stroganoff, or my version of it anyway, and barbecue beef. I didn't tell my husband the roast had turned out bad, and he didn't even seem to notice that these were "rescue" recipes. Thick or creamy sauce or gravy seems to do wonders to disguise tough dry meat.

  2. Lillian on November 21, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    mince it up, add minced onions, sweet pickles, and mayo or salad dressing and make a sandwich spread or scoop it on top of some kind of green salad. This works well with ham, chicken, bologna or other meat.

  3. Cori on November 20, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Run it through my meatgrinder (Kitchenaid attachment) after par-freezing it a bit. Then use in spaghetti sauce or chili

  4. CJ McD on November 20, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Dice it up and make soup.

  5. Angela on November 20, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    If there ever is left over roast in my house it gets cut up and mixed with either home made or jarred brown gravy and served over noodles. quick and tasty.

  6. Cheryl Smithem on November 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Mince it very fine and season with your favorite barbecue sauce for beef barbecue. I've done this a few times this year when the chuck roast I cooked was not as tender as I'd hoped. It seems that happens when I try to trim most of the external fat from the meat before slow cooking it. Proves to me that fat is necessary (as is liquid) when cooking the tougher cuts in a slow cooker.

  7. jan on November 20, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I had a tough roast Monday and yesterday it became crockpot stew! Cut it in small chunnks and cooked all day…delicious and easy!

  8. Annie Jones on November 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I'd chunk it up and simmer it in a nice beef stew. Or maybe simmer it in beef broth, thicken it and serve it over noodles, much like beef tips and gravy.

    • HeatherSolos on November 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm

      If you use a little bit of red wine, the acidity will help tenderize the meat and make it taste like a lot of effort went into the dish, which is always nice when it's a rescue operation. Great suggestion, Annie.

      • Angela on November 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

        Also Coke is a great tenderizer. I never have wine in the house, but always Coke and it works great.

        • knitaddict on November 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm

          Yup, my brother introduced me to the wonders of the Coca-Cola Ham a few years back……YUMMMMM!
          Coke: It's not just for corroded battery terminals anymore! LOL

  9. ThatBobbieGirl on November 20, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Depending on the seasonings, it might be great in a vegetable beef soup, especially if it's cooked a long time. Use a recipe with tomatoes. (I think I'll dig out my mom's recipe today – her veg beef soup was the best)

    Chili might also work. If you're like my husband and don't like shredded meat in chili, then you could chop it up really fine with a knife or food processor.

    Chop meat finely and use instead of ground beef in a sloppy joe recipe or in spaghetti sauce.

    You could use it in my "Not Quite Philly Cheesesteak Skillet" – just slice it very thin, and add it after the onions & peppers are cooked enough

    If you have leftover baked or boiled potatoes, make hash: Chop meat and combine with chopped cooked potatoes and chopped onions and fry in a skillet. Add salt & pepper.

    If it's really tought, personally I'd go with soup and let it cook a good long time.

    • HeatherSolos on November 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

      I like the beefy vegetable soup idea, but it's important to make sure the broth is well flavored (not saying yours wouldn't be, but a newer cook might not realize this). Without a strongly flavored stock / broth it could leave a lot to be desired. And yes, I am speaking from personal experience. 🙂

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