Shoulder tender or teres major is the most tender, flavorful steak that you're probably not eating.  Easy and quick to cook, can serve multiple people, and inexpensive!

Shoulder tender or teres major steak – the most tender steak you’re probably not eating …? What kind of title is that? I know I could have done better with that, but it’s the only way I could put it out there in a way that you might want to click on it to see what the heck I’m talking about.

Not that I’m a click monster, no. I just want you to know about this cut of meat. It’s to my detriment too, because just like oxtails and beef shanks, when this steak becomes mainstream, the price will skyrocket and I probably won’t be eating it nearly as often.

The short story: I don’t live in the sticks. I live in a city. Not a large one, but you know, a city. Still, there are. no. real. butchers. in. my. city. There are people who work in a butcher department. But they are dumbasses.

It makes it very difficult to get my creative meat juices flowing. They only want to order meat that people will want and buy. I get that. Meat goes bad – quick. But I want the goods!

This is where it gets real. Publix, the grocery store chain, (if you’re in the south you probably have one near you), they have great meat randomly. I actually find tri tip there occasionally. If they don’t have what you want in the case, press the button and talk to them. They will try to get it for you – they’re great like that.

One day the wife and I waltz in, looking for tri tip actually, and we spot this shoulder tender. It looked like a filet tail kinda and there was two in the pack for $17.00. We had no clue what it was, if it would taste like gizzards and feel like a tire. We just knew we had to have it.

They were the perfect size to throw on the grill for supper. That’s what we did and it was crazy amazing delicious. Tender, I mean unimaginably tender, like a filet mignon, but juicier and with way more flavor. It cut like butta. And all for $17.00. So two, longish tail like steaks, for 17 bucks. We got 7-8 thick medallions of off one of them. So just one could feed 4, with some delicious sides and veggies with it.

Another thing I love about this is the shape. It’s not uniform in its length, it tapers down. That means that if you have people who like more rare and some like it more well, you can serve them all. As it tapers, it’ll be more well and everyone gets what they want!

And impressive – I’m telling you. The taste, the texture, the presentation. It’s impressive. And simple. See what I mean? See how it on the back end tapers?

Shoulder tender or teres major is the most tender, flavorful steak that you're probably not eating. Easy and quick to cook, can serve multiple people, and inexpensive!

This is all I do, season, grill, reverse sear, let it rest and serve. On the grill to your plate in, oh, I’d say 30 minutes or so.

But you gotta use your meat thermometer guys. You got to! If you don’t have one, pick up a cheap one on Amazon or wherever. It doesn’t have to be bluetooth or wi-fi or 26 pronged or have the ability to call your mom for you or whatever. It just has to be able to stick in your meat so you know what the hell’s happening in there.

5 from 5 votes
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Shoulder Tender or Teres Major Steak

Ingredients

  • shoulder tender/teres major steak
  • salt
  • pepper
  • whatever other seasoning you like, I like Memphis BBQ seasoning on mine
  • oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 4-5 sprigs rosemary, thyme, or any other herb you like
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • meat thermometer
  • cast iron skillet

Instructions

  1. If you have the time, inclination and the space in your fridge, I would recommend you season the steak and put it in your fridge 24 hours before, sitting on a wire rack.  Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.  Just season, put a wire rack over a plate to catch “stuff” and let it hang out in there.  24 hours or overnight, or even 5 or 6 hours.  If you don’t have the time or you just ain’t gonna do it, no worries.  It will not break the outcome.

  2. Get your grill hot, to 350/400°, but only half the burners.  We’re gonna be cooking this on indirect heat.  

    While your grill is heating up, season your steaks.  Season them more than you think.  Don’t be afraid to over season.  A lot of the seasoning will come off in the process.  I like salt, pepper and Memphis style BBQ seasoning, but use whatever you love.  Simple salt, pepper, and garlic powder is always a winner.

  3. Once your grill is hot, stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.  Place it on the grill, but not over the heat.  Remember, we’re cooking this on indirect heat.  Cook to your desired temperature.  I like to pull mine at 125°.  But it’s all up to you.  

    Keep in mind that we’ll be searing it in a cast iron skillet and then letting it rest, so the temperature you pull it off the grill at will not be the final product.

  4. As your meat is coming close to the temperature you want to pull it at, grab your cast iron skillet and start heating it up.  You want it really hot.  Once hot and your steak is super close, add the oil, just a little bit to sear it.  

  5. When your meat gets to temperature, pull it and place it in that screaming hot pan and sear each side.  On the final side, throw in the butter, herbs, and garlic cloves.  

    Carefully tilt the pan and using a spoon, spoon the butter and all the other goodness over the steak, repeatedly.  The garlic and herbs will start to fry up in that butter and that’s what you want.  Do this for a minute or two.  

  6. Immediately remove the meat to a plate or serving dish.  Pour the content of the pan over the steak.  Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.  Cut into medallions and serve.  Or if you’re really hungry, just plop the whole thing on a plate and dig in!

Recipe Notes

I just want to point out, that if you’ve never reverse seared before, the meat might not look like you’ll expect in the process.  When you pull it off the grill before it goes into the pan, not impressive at all.  It just looks like a sad piece of meat.  

Don’t worry, once you put that baby in the pan and sear it, it will be on point.

Looking for a tender, flavorful, CHEAP steak? Shoulder tender or teres major fits the bill! Grill to your plate in about 30 minutes. Can't get any easier than that!


This steak parties at: Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Merry Monday,

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16 thoughts on “Shoulder Tender or Teres Major Steak – The Most Tender Steak You’re Probably Not Eating”


  1. This looks delicious, Jaxx! I haven’t heard of this cut, and our cuts are named differently over here. I’m lucky to have a great butcher though so I can definitely figure it out. Thank you so much for sharing this new to me cut of beef with the Hearth and Soul Link Party, as well as a great recipe to use it in!

      1. It looks so good! I could eat it now and it now and it’s not even dinner time here yet!
        Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

  2. Mmmm, this looks delicous, Jaxx! My husband is the steak master, so I will have to introduce him to this cut, which I have never heard of! Since grilling season is just around the corner, I am looking forward to it! Thanks for sharing this with us at Fiesta Friday this week!

    1. You will become obsessed if you find it – promise! After the second one I cooked, I went back to that store and asked for all they had on hand. I went home with 10 filets lol! I used my Vacmaster to seal them up so I am stocked for now. Bye bye filet!


  3. Oh my, this sounds amazing! Hubby and I love a good steak, and we often grill a rib eye or strip steak on the weekend. I have never heard of this cut before but will have to look for it. Will definitely try your cooking method.

  4. I just finished cutting up a tenderloin into filet this afternoon and that cut does remind me of part of it. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this cut at our local stores.

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