What’s a Butterfly Steak? How to Butterfly and Stuff Steak

November 29, 2022

A butterfly steak means taking a thick cut of meat and slicing it equally but not all the way through. So when you open it up, you can fill it with ingredients.

I like to butterfly my steak in the kitchen whenever I have a medium rare or well-done meat without having a deeply seared exterior. I also do this when I need my marinade to penetrate more into the meat. I’ve been doing this since my cooking school days.

So, today, I’ll be showing you my butterfly meat recipe and how to butterfly a steak.

Butterfly Steak

What Are Butterfly Steaks?

Butterfly steaks are tender steak cuts that are only cut halfway through, giving it the shape of a butterfly. 

Butterflying a steak lets it cook faster. It is excellent for roasting or grilling and will remain tender if salted. Butterflied steak can also be filled with ingredients (i.e., vegetables) like stuffed chicken and folded up like a bag. 

How to Butterfly a Steak?

Step 1: Get a Steak, Sharp Knife, and a Sturdy Cutting Board 

First, you’ll need a piece of steak (a tenderloin, pork chop, or what have you). You’ll also need a board, and a razor-sharp chef’s knife or boning knife. I also like to use a knife with a wide blade. 

You should always sharpen your knives. A knife with a narrow blade makes it less likely that you’re going to cut yourself. You also don’t have to hack away at the uncooked meat. 

Step 2: Lay the Steak on the Cutting Board  

To slice a steak the butterfly way, lay the steak on your cutting board. Get a very sharp knife and take the steak’s edge with your non-knife hand. 

Step 3: Start Slicing 

Make a neat cut in one motion, ensuring your knife hand is balanced and the steak is cut into two halves. You may however stop and continue at the thickest side. 

Again, you don’t want to go slicing all the way through, but you’re going to cut through a bit after the center. 

As you slice, stop when you get to the other edge of the steak, so you can have enough meat that will be the sole of the “butterfly.” 

Step 4: Open It Up 

After finishing the cut, you can open it up to have that butterfly style. That’s all the basics of a butterflied steak. 

Step 5: Stuff It 

If you want to fill it with ingredients, you can take something like freshly washed spinach leaves. Put them in the center. They’ll soften up during the cooking process. 

I also like to add a couple more slices of provolone cheese to compliment that beef and the spinach. 

Step 6: Roll It Up 

After you’re done, you can simply roll it up like a teriyaki steak roll or beef braciole. 

Step 7: Cook Evenly

You can cook the steak by grilling or roasting it, whichever you want. If you don’t want the stuffing to escape, you can either tie it up with butcher’s twine or simply grill it with the seam side down. 

Roasted Beef Steak

Butterflied Tenderloin Steak Recipe

Ingredients for 2 people

Steak Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of butterflied pork tenderloin steaks (each approx. 150 g.)   
  • Sesame oil for brushing 
  • Spices: salt, freshly ground pepper, lemon pepper, Thai curry, ground chili flakes   

Potato Ingredients

  • 400 grams small waxy potatoes    
  • Potato seasoning 
  • 1 tbsp soybean oil   

Kidney Bean Salad Ingredients 

  • 425ml or 1 can of canned kidney beans
  • 1 small fresh shallot
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar   
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil   
  • 2 tbsp water   
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley leaves 


Step 1

Start by washing the potatoes and boiling them in their skins. 

Put the kidney beans in a sieve and rinse with cold water until they stop foaming. Pour into a bowl and let it steep for at least one hour. 

Step 2

Buy the tenderloin steak readily butterflied. Or you could make a perfect butterfly cut using the procedure I showed you earlier. 

If you’re making it yourself, make sure you fillet the meat from the bone. Throw nothing away! You can choose to use bones and fatty meat parts for a soup or stew. 

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Step 3

Unfold the slice of meat and flatten it a little with a meat mallet. Brush it with the sesame oil thinly with a pastry brush. 

Then sprinkle with the spices listed above to add some taste. Leave the meat for half an hour.

Step 4

Peel the cooled and cooked potatoes, then cut them into quarters. 

Season with fried potato seasoning to taste. If you don’t have a commercial one, you could mix a half teaspoon each of thyme, garlic powder, onions powder, and paprika. You can also add a dash of salt. 

Step 5

Heat the grill pan with no oil. Remember we brushed the steaks with oil the other time. That’s enough for pan-searing!

At the same time, heat a second pan with oil. Fry the potato wedges in the oil until they’re crisp all over. 

Meanwhile, sear the steak cuts for two to three minutes on both sides in the grill pan until it turns medium rare. 

If you want something other than medium rare, reduce or increase the cooking time depending on the thickness of the steak or the doneness you want. 

When done, remove the steak from the pan and keep it warm.

Step 6

Turn the potato wedges so that they are crispy all over. When they are nice and crisp, put the wedges on a plate. 

Add the steak and put on a portion of kidney bean salad. 

Beef Tenderloin Steaks

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And that is how I make my butterflied steak tenderloin. I hope you can try out the recipe and have fun tasting and making it.

Remember, to butterfly a steak, you only need two simple tools – a cutting board and knife! 

For the recipe I showed you, note that we’re not stuffing the potatoes and beans in the steak this time around. Instead, they’re left as side dishes on the plate. How sumptuous!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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