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.
Smoke, then braise
This lean cut needs low heat and moisture to keep it from getting tough and dry during cooking. Braising in broth, wine, or other flavored liquid is the best method. The simmering liquid will add flavor and slowly cook the beef until it is fall-apart tender.
Mock tender can also be cut into pieces for stew meat.
Use a 2-step process,smoking, then braising. First, smoke for 1.5 hours. Then, transfer the roast to a dutch oven for braising.
Mock tender isn't a great cut. Despite the name, it isn't tender. Other cuts from the chuck section have more intramuscular fat and connective tissue which make for more flavorful pot roast. For this reason, the mock tender isn't seen often in stores; it's usually cut up for stew meat.
Mock tender typically sells for $4 to $6 per pound. It is one of the least expensive whole cuts of meat you can buy.
Mock tender will be done when the meat is tender and can easily be pulled apart. This will usually happen at an internal temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best use for mock tender is cutting it for stew meat. While it can be cooked whole, other roasts cut from the chuck are better options.
Mock tender steak is not tender. It is cut from the shoulder, a heavily-used area of the body, and doesn't contain much intramuscular fat. The "tender" in the name is a reference to the shape of the steak which somewhat resembles a tenderloin.
If you are cooking mock tender at low temperatures, you should thaw before cooking. It's fine to cook the meat from frozen if you cut it in smaller pieces for stew.
The confusing name "mock tender" has nothing to do with how tender the cut is. It's a reference to the shape of the cut. Mock tender is thick at one end and tapers to a point at the other end, giving it a slight resemblance to a whole tenderloin.
While it is sometimes sold whole at supermarkets, it is more likely to be sold as beef stew meat. However, mock tender (when sold whole) is usually cheaper than stew meat. You can buy your own and slice it into the size you prefer.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association identifies the cut with UPC number 1008. You may see this number in the UPC code on the beef package label at the supermarket.
According to the USDA, a braised mock tender steak contains 620 calories, 90.6 grams of protein, and 28.8 grams of fat.
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