Tough Call, Roast Beef Leftovers

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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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14 thoughts on “Tough Call, Roast Beef Leftovers”

  1. 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.

    • 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. 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


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