Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Carne Diem
Origin: Nose to Tail Cooking
Method: Grill/Smoker, Stove top, and Sous videJump to Recipe
This beef teres major steak recipe is the best way to cook petite tender. The beef chuck petite is reverse seared and then the teres major medallions are served with optional malbec and stout steak sauces.
Table of contents
What is a Teres Major Steak?
Also referred to as petite tender, teres major is not a cut you are likely to find at your local grocery, or even at most butcher shops. It is a seldom used muscle, and as such is very tender yet remains sadly unknown in the U.S. It originates from the shoulder portion of the cow, or the beef clod, which is another popular cut in Texas BBQ that, sadly, has not really made its way outside of the Lone Star state. Some have compared it to a poor man's beef tenderloin, we just call it delicious.
Sourcing Your Teres Major
Gourmet butchers, especially those specializing in Wagyu cattle, have started to see the value in this cut. I am fortunate enough to live in close proximity to Kansas City Cattle Company (though they do ship nationwide). It is a great company with a great product. The owner is an Army Ranger Veteran and part of the Homegrown by Heroes Initiative. After 2 tours in Afghanistan he returned to Kansas City where he and his all veteran staff now run an American-Wagyu ranch producing some of the best beef in America.
One of our other favorite sources for teres major, is Snake River Farms, who produce some of the best American Wagyu in the nation and provide beef to many of the best restaurants and BBQ teams in the country. They also ship nationally.
I recently jumped on the opportunity to cook up this prized cut for my family, and the results were superb. The technique I have found to work best involved a reverse sear method starting in the smoker, then being brought to final temp in the sous vide, before being sliced to desired thickness and finishing off the steak in a sizzling cast iron pan. We then served them up with his and hers sauces, consisting of a Stout Sauce for me and a Malbec Reduction Sauce for the lady of the house.
Cooking the Teres Major
This method does require a smoker or grill, sous vide, and a hot skillet. If you do not have a sous vide, you can cook the petite tender entirely on the smoker or grill, there is just less margin for error, it may not be as tender, and your timeline has a lot less flexibility if you are cooking on a deadline. You can learn about why sous vide may be the next toy you need in your kitchen here or in our Equipment/Tools of the Trade page:
Prepping the meat
So now that you have made a quick trip to the butcher and picked up roughly 2 pound teres major roast and your favorite BBQ rub for beef (steak or brisket) you are just about set to go. Other than that all you need is some salt and butter to finish the dish with.
Pat the teres major dry and trim any remaining fat or silver skin, though typically there is not much trimming that needs to be done.
Liberally coat with the beef rub on all sides. Use your favorite rub. For this we used Oakridge BBQ Black OPS Brisket Rub. Our Ancho Espresso Steak Rub or Chicago Style Steak Rub also work great. Next, cover with Saran Wrap and let sit at room temp for about an hour, while you set up the grill/smoker.
Cooking the petite tender
Heat your grill or smoker to 250 degrees. We like to cook this over oak, but pick out your favorite.
We highly recommend monitoring the internal temperature of the meat with a meat thermometer. You can read more about this useful tool here:
Smoke the teres major until it reaches an internal temp of 100-110 degrees (about an hour) then remove from the grill. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then place in a sous vide bag. If you do not have a sous vide bag, vacuum seal bags work well, too. Use zip locks as a last resort, but they can be a pain to get all of the air out, and you should double bag them because they are prone to leakage in the warm water.
If you are not using a sous vide continue to cook the roast to about 10 degrees below your desired finishing temp, then pull and rest for 5 minutes before proceeding to the searing step.
Use a sous vide to assure meaty perfection
Sous vide for about 2 hours to your desired temp. We like medium-rare so we cooked it to 131 degrees, though with the beauty of sous vide you can get it cooked exactly to your liking, so just adjust to preference. The other great thing about sous vide is that you can use it to hold to temp until you are ready to eat. Company running late, no big deal, just keep it at exact temp without over cooking it or having it dry out.
When you are ready to eat, heat a cast iron or sauté pan over high heat.
Remove the meat from the sous vide bag to a cutting board. Slice the meat to desired thickness cuts. Again with the beauty of sous vide you can do really thick cuts because it is all evenly cooked already, you are just searing to add some flavor and texture to the meat.
Finishing the Teres Major
Heat a cast iron pan or skillet over high heat then melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan. Quickly sear both sides of each steak until nicely browned (about 30 seconds-1 minute per side depending on your pan's temp). Add additional butter as needed to cook the remaining steaks.
What to serve with grilled teres major
Serve up with your favorite sides and sauce. We cooked ours with his and hers sauces (Stout Steak Sauce and Malbec Reduction Sauce) and sautéed asparagus. Other great sides for petite tender include jalapeno twice baked potatoes, cheese corn, au gratin potatoes.
For more great steak recipes, be sure to try some of the best steak recipes from around the world:
- Reverse Seared Argentinian Ribeye With Chimichurri Sauce
- Quattro Formaggi Crusted Steak
- Deconstructed Beef Wellington
- Belgian Steak Frites With Sous Vide Bavette Steak
- Sous Vide Florentine Style Porterhouse Steak
- A5 Japanese Wagyu With Yakiniku Sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
Teresd major comes from the chuck primal or shoulder of the cow.
Teres major is also often called petite tender, shoulder tender, or bistro filet.
Teres major is best cooked with a reverse sear method and best served medium rare, but can be cooked to preferred doneness.
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Reverse Seared Teres Major
- Grill or Smoker
- Sous vide (optional)
- 2 pound Teres Major Roast
- Your favorite BBQ Rub For Beef
- Trim the teres major by removing most of the fat and silver skin. There may not be very much trimming needed.
- Liberally sprinkle the teres major with your favorite BBQ rub for beef or steak.
- Cover the meat with Saran Wrap and let sit at room temp for about an hour, while you set up the grill/smoker.
- Heat your smoker to 250 degrees. We love cooking this over oak, but use whatever wood, pellets, charcoal, etc that you prefer.
- Place the meat on the smoker and monitor the internal temp with a meat thermometer. Cook for roughly one hour, when it reaches an internal temp of 100-110 degrees then remove from the grill.
- If you are not using a sous vide continue to cook the roast to about 10 degrees below your desired finishing temp, then pull and rest for 5 minutes before proceeding to the searing step.
- Let the meat cool for about 5 minutes, then place in a sous vide bag. If you do not have a sous vide bag, vacuum seal bags work well, too. Use zip locks as a last resort, but they can be a pain to get all of the air out, and you should double bag them because they are prone to leakage in the warm water.
- Set the sous vide to your desired finishing temp and cook the roast for about 2 hours. We prefer medium rare so we set the sous vide to 131 degrees.
- When ready to eat, heat a cast iron pan or skillet over high heat and add a tablespoon of butter. Remove the meat from the sous vide bag and slice to desired thickness, then sear the medallions about 1 minute per side.
- Plate and serve with the his and hers sauces.