What to Do with Tough Leftover Roast Beef –

Pre cooked roast beef recipes

The only thing better than a delicious carne asada dinner is leftovers the next day. But what if your meat is hard? Can you still enjoy a tasty leftover meal with leftover roast beef? Of course you can!

I love making meals with leftovers. Whether it’s a simple stew, a tasty stroganoff or fun burritos, there’s plenty you can do with leftover roast beef and cooking with your leftovers is one of the best ways to save money and reduce food waste.

But there’s no denying that cooking with leftovers is easier if your original set of carne asada was tender, juicy, and absolutely melted in your beautiful mouth


If your meat was a little hard, oily, or hard to chew in the first place, storing it in the refrigerator for an overnight or two won’t make it softer.

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So what can you do with hard roast beef?

What can I do with leftover roast beef?

There’s so much you can do with leftover roast beef! Some of my favorite recipes include:

  • Stroganoff
  • Fried rice
  • Sweet and sour
  • meat and

  • broccoli with noodles
  • Chow Mein
  • Pasta Bake

But these options aren’t ideal if you’re looking to soften leftover hard


You might find that because they’re quite dry, or cooked pretty quickly, your meat doesn’t have a chance to soften and is still too chewy.

Why Roast Beef Could Be Difficult?

There are a few reasons why your Sunday lunch roast beef may be harder than you’d like it to be.

These include:

  • It’s overcooked. Overcooking the meat causes it to dry out, and as moisture is lost, the meat becomes harder and harder to chew.
  • It was cooked at too high a temperature. For soft and tender meat, it is always better to cook it low and slow than to heat it very quickly, which causes the protein in the meat to harden.
  • Some cuts of meat are harder than others. With beef, these are usually the cheapest cuts like breast or rump.
  • The meat was not very fresh.

The benefits of buying cheap cuts of

meat Cheaper cuts of

meat are

often harder and chewier because they have more connective tissue

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This is typically because they are more heavily exercised muscles in the animal


They are cheaper because the meat is not as tender and there is less demand for it


But that doesn’t mean cheaper cuts aren’t tasty.

While they may need to be cooked longer, they can be tastier, save you money, and make a fantastic stew.

What to do with Tough Steak Leftovers?

Of course, leftover roast beef isn’t the only meat that can be tough.

While your rib eye can always be wonderfully tender, a rump can be hard, dry, and chewy if it hasn’t been cooked very carefully.

If you have hard meat leftovers, I really recommend something like a stew, cooked slowly for a long time.

This will give the meat time to tenderize, and if you don’t have a lot of meat, which you may not have from a steak, you can add some diced meat or stewed steak, or just lots of potatoes and vegetables to increase the volume.

How to Save

Hard Roast

Beef If your roast beef is hard, you can usually tell as soon as you start cutting


Letting it sit for 30 minutes before serving will relax the meat and may soften it slightly. But to be honest, once it’s cooked and ready to serve, there’s little you can do.

For your Sunday lunch, I recommend cutting your roast of hard meat as thin as possible, to make it easier to cut and chew on the table

. Then,

top it with sauce and serve with all your favorite vegetables and potatoes. Then


whatever is left, cover and store in the refrigerator for another meal, just as you would with leftover

roast beef.

How to make hard cooked roast beef tender?

The best way to make hard beef tender is to add more liquid.

It may be too late to do this on Sunday, but when it comes to making another meal with leftover roast beef, cooking the meat slowly in a sauce or sauce is the best way to soften


It’s also a good idea to cut it into small pieces if you know it’s difficult.


option when it comes to reusing leftover hard meat is to crush the meat, like shredded pig.

To crush leftover roast beef, I wait until the meat is

cold, before literally tearing it apart, go with the grain, with

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my hands.

You can use forks to crush meat, but I find it easier to get my hands dirty


Leftover grated roast beef is perfect for cooking in a sauce, such as for burritos or chili or baking on a homemade cake.

I really believe that anything you do with minced meat, you can also make it with shredded meat.

Making soup with leftover roast beef is a fantastic option for using leftover meat, and

adding barley is a great option if you want to increase it


Beef and barley soup is great if the meat is hard, but it’s also a fabulous way to cook on a budget


Just be sure to cut out your small meat.

What’s best for cooking with a leftover roast dinner?

There’s so much you can do with leftover roast beef or leftover roast from the pot. There is absolutely no better option.

For me, it depends on the circumstances

. If I

don’t have a lot of beef, and it’s super tender and already thinly sliced, I don’t think there are many better options than a good beef sandwich


If your meat is hard, crumbling it and making burritos or cooking slowly in a stew or chili are perfect.


beef goulash recipe uses fresh meat, But you can easily exchange it for leftovers.

Simply omit the browning from the meat part and make sure it is very hot before serving.

Chop your small meat if it is hard and cook it in this delicious goulash sauce.

This type of lightly seasoned stew is perfect for breathing new life into leftover hard beef!

A beef stew

is a perfect way to use leftover hard meat, whether it’s beef, pork, or lamb. Cut your meat into small pieces and let it boil slowly in a stew for at least an hour!

Cottage Pie

I love a cottage cake with leftover meat. I prefer pieces of meat to using minced meat. It’s a much better texture.

If your meat is hard, cut it small or dice it and it will soften in this thick sauce topped with mashed potatoes. The leftover lamb is also ideal for a shepherd’s pie.


For burritos

with leftover meat that is hard, you would crush the meat or cut it into thin strips before simmering in a chili


This is ideal if there isn’t much meat left because crushing it makes it go further, and the rice and vegetables in burritos mean you won’t miss out on any more meat.

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curry sauce is the perfect way to cook carne asada Hard leftover. It will soften it while adding a little extra flavor.

You can even marinate the meat overnight so that it is already softened before you start cooking.

I love my leftover beef curry and beef and sweet potato curry recipes to cook with hard leftover beef.


A ragout

is perfect if you want to cut your meat very small


You’d usually make it with minced meat, so it doesn’t really make much difference, and simmering it in a thick sauce like this means it softens and stops being as dry.

You can also make ragout with leftover turkey or lamb



Chilli, like curry, is great for leftovers because you can cook it for a long time. If your meat is still too chewy, you can always add extra liquid and simmer for a little longer, just be sure to stir occasionally to prevent leftover meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

If you’re making chili with leftover hard beef, crush the meat or cut it into small pieces



I love hotpots. They’re perfect for leftover beef or lamb, or even with baked sausages and beans for an inexpensive dinner.

Hot pots are great for hard meat, but you can also use leftover vegetables and potatoes.

A casserole

of red meat and wine is

perfect for chewy beef


Simmer your meat in this rich red wine sauce until smooth and then serve with mashed potatoes or bread for a super delicious dinner

. Pie

Pie is another option where you can cut the small meat and let it cook in the sauce.

The only difference is that you can’t taste a little during Cooking to see how smooth is easy.

You can make my lamb and potato pie with beef, just skip the mint


These leftover roast beef recipes are just a few of the ways you can use hard meat, giving it new life as part of another hearty family meal


Usually, your meat will soften as it is cooked in a sauce or sauce and will be much more tender the second time you eat it.

Save this recipe for later!

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