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Beef knuckle

Other Names: Roasts: Bald tip roast, ball tip roast, barbecue roast, French roll roast, girello di noce (Italian), redondo de babilla or bola (Spanish), rond de tranche grasse (French), round tip roast, sirloin butt roast, sirloin tip roast, thick flank (British), tip roast. Steaks: Ball tip steak, breakfast steak, minute steak, round tip steak, sandwich steak, sirloin tip steak.

General Description: One of the most versatile cuts of beef, the knuckle (or beef tip) is one of three main parts of the round. The trimmed tip is found most often in retail butcher shops rather than on restaurant menus. It can be cut into countless items, from kabobs to London broil. A barbecue roast is a retail name for a solid side of sirloin tip that is cut, rolled, and tied to make a small-diameter roast suitable for spit or rotisserie roasting. Although less tender than sirloin or loin roasts, ball tip roasts can be quite tasty and are suitable for dry roasting, especially if marinated.

Stroganoff is thin strips of beef, often cut from the knuckle, used for the Russian dish beef Stroganoff, with mushrooms in a sour cream sauce. The strips may also be cut from the top round or tenderloin tip.

Part of Animal: The beef knuckle lies at the top of the round just beyond the sirloin and is the muscle group just above the kneecap. (A part of this muscle is included in the sirloin, depending on how the beef carcass was cut up.)

Characteristics: Beef knuckle is a solid muscle group weighing 12 to 16 pounds that has had the small “cap” or tri-tip muscle removed.

How to Choose: In most retail markets at least a portion of the beef tip is sold as a roast of 4 to 8 pounds. Usually it is trimmed and split down the middle and each half is tied into a rolled roast. Tip can be identified by the horseshoe- or oval-shaped line of connective tissue in the center of each cut. The center portion is the most tender part of the round.

Amount to Buy: Allow 6 to 8 ounces per portion.

Storage: Refrigerate roasts up to 4 days, steaks up to 2 days.


  1. Press seasoning ingredients (salt, pepper, spices, and herbs) evenly into the surface.
  2. Roast fat side up at 325°F, uncovered, about 1 hour for a 3-pound roast.
  3. Remove from the oven and let rest, covered with foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature will rise about 5°F. Carve roast into thin slices.

Flavor Affinities: Allspice, cumin, garlic, hot peppers, marjoram, mushrooms, mustard, onions, oregano, paprika, thyme.

from Quirk Books: