Boneless shoulder steaks come from the forequarter of the animal and go by a variety of names, such as London broil, Swiss steak and chuck shoulder steak. They are a flavorful cut of meat, but lack the tenderness associated with other steaks. Shoulder steaks are often thinner and less expensive, as well, making them a good choice for quick weeknight meals.
Braising is the ideal method for cooking boneless shoulder steak. Braising involves cooking the meat in liquid at a low temperature until it is tender and flavorful. Don't boil it, though, which causes the meat to toughen. Season the meat before you cook it with fresh herbs or dried ranch salad dressing mix. Make a gravy from the drippings and serve the meat as a traditional "meat and potatoes" meal, or turn it into a beefy stew or soup.
A slow cooker braises meat almost effortlessly. Brown the meat and place it in the slow cooker in the morning with chopped onion, garlic a bit of broth or water and dried seasonings. By dinner time, the shoulder steak will be tender, flavorful and juicy. Add carrots, potatoes and celery to the slow cooker for a dish similar to pot roast.
Other Cooking Methods
Because boneless shoulder steaks are lean, they lack the natural tenderness cooks prefer in steaks for grilling and broiling. A tenderizing marinade that contains an acid such as citrus juice, vinegar or red wine combined with dry seasonings breaks down the meat's fibers enough to grill successfully. Marinate boneless shoulder steaks for at least six hours before grilling or broiling.
Marinate and grill boneless shoulder steaks for use in fajitas, steak salads, sandwiches or any dishes that call for thin slices of flavorful meat. Allow the meat to rest for 10 to 20 minutes after cooking and cut the meat across the grain on the diagonal. This cutting method prevents slices with long, stringy pieces of fiber.
- "Lobel's Meat Bible"; Stanley Lobel, et al.; 2009
Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."
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