Beef Shoulder Tender Sandwich

IMG_3340Forget using a rib eye or sirloin, and don’t even think about using an expensive beef tenderloin for making a delicious steak sandwich when there are less expensive, more tender, and beefier tasting options available such as the beef shoulder tender.

Zepplins is a restaurant not far from our house that we frequent with my mother and father-in-law. They have a sandwich on their menu my father-in-law and I like very much called the Stockyard Steak. We call it delicious.

The description on the menu reads “Char-broiled chuck tender, wild mushrooms, Swiss cheese, arugula & cracked pepper aioli on ciabatta.” It’s so good I had to recreate it. I have made this sandwich now a couple of times. The only difference is I use a shoulder tender rather than the chuck tender used by Zepplins. They are similar cuts from the same general area of the cow, but the shoulder tender is rated more tender. As a matter of fact, beef shoulder tender is rated as the second most tender cut of beef trailing only the beef tenderloin. In addition, the cut has a much beefier taste and is half the cost of beef tenderloin. Another very similar cut coming from the same general area you could use for this sandwich is the flat iron.

All three of these cuts should only be cooked no further than medium-rare. Cooking any of these cuts beyond medium-rare will cause the muscle to tighten up and become tough.

Here is what I did:

Beef Shoulder Tender Sandwich
(Makes two sandwiches)


1 Beef shoulder tender (approximately 8 to 10 ounces)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
4 Slices ciabatta approximately 1/2″ thick from a 12″ loaf
Olive oil
4 Tablespoons black pepper roasted garlic aioli (recipe follows)
1 Cup approximately arugala
3 Slices Swiss cheese
4 ounces of mushrooms sliced thin (your choice; oyster, chanterelle, shiitake, cremini)


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

About 30 minutes prior to grilling, take beef shoulder tender out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Then season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and grill beef shoulder to rare or medium-rare; about 4 to 5 minutes per side for rare, 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from heat, tent with foil, and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Prepare the ciabatta and mushrooms while the beef is coming to room temperature. Brush one side of the ciabatta with olive oil and place under a broiler until toasted. Flip and lightly toast the side without olive oil and set aside. This could also be done on the grill if you prefer.

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a skillet. Sautée mushrooms until softened they begin to slightly brown. Lightly season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and set aside.

Assemble the sandwich. Place two slices of toasted ciabatta on work surface with the olive oil side down. Spread aioli on these sides. Top with arugala and then Swiss cheese. Next place sliced beef tenderloin tender slices on top of cheese and mushrooms on top of beef. Top with remaining toasted ciabatta slices olive oil side up and serve.

Black Pepper Roasted Garlic Aioli


1 Large egg yolk
2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Roasted garlic cloves
Fresh ground black pepper


Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a medium sized bowl. Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. Should your mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.

Mash the roasted garlic to a paste. Whisk in garlic paste and black pepper into above mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Aioli will last about a week in the refrigerator.


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