HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Okay Chowhounds, what IS this ?????

I bought this beautiful cut of meat at the Berkeley Farmers Market from a small rancher.
Brought it home and chucked it in the freezer. Took it out yesterday to discover there was no label identifying it.
Any ideas?
A virtual ticker tape parade to the Chowhound who can help me figure out what it is, so I can decide wether to roast or braise...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow, It looks like some type of roast by the way it's tied up but I've never seen that type of tie...is it beef or pork? Not to be funny, but you bought it and didn't ask what it was?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Sorry, it is beef.
      Yes, I asked what it was, but it was during the holiday's and I don't remember.

      His meat was amazing and I bought a LOT. Didn't think about labels.

      1. re: mendogurl

        Definitely some type of roast...probably would be great stuffed & re-tied. Because it's difficult to identify it (at least to me) I'd oven roast it or sear it and slow cook in a crock pot, but that's just me.

    2. I second Cherylptw. It looks liek a roast meat because it is tied up, but we cannot tell what cut of meat is this if we cannot see the grain on the meat.

      1 Reply
      1. It looks like a rump roast or round roast.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KTinNYC

          Better pic of the other side.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            Yah, second the round, bottom probably.

            1. re: linguafood

              Really? I usually think of round roast as more organized with one big chuck of meat where the beef grain running all parallel like these pictures:



              Although the meat is not unwarpped. It does look like the grains re running in multiple directions. I really have no idea what that thing is.

          2. Looks like he failed his cutting test....bundled and tied the pieces together!


              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Ha, ha. circus tent...
                No blue ribbons for the funniest post !!!!!!!

                So, a bottom round, I am braising right??

                1. re: mendogurl

                  Actually, I do not think it is a bottom round, as described above. Well, I guess you just have to treat it as some kind of roast beef. You can braise it. It is a safe good choice.

                  1. re: mendogurl

                    I want roast beef.

                    Chemical, what say you?

                    It doesn't look like any pictures I can find.

                    1. re: mendogurl

                      :) I know you want roast beef. I want it too. Anyway, what I meant is that I cannot tell exactly what kind of roast beef is this, so you just have to treat it as an unknown roast beef. In my first post above, I said a round roast usually is one big chuck of meat where the beef grains run all parallel. It does not look like your meat look anything like this one:


                      I am starting to wonder if Bob and Sam got it. The butcher may not have one clean cut of meat. It may be a combination of something. Well, I really cannot tell because it is all warpped up.

                      Regardless, braising is a good safe choice to go.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I love braised beef, but my husband doesn't.
                        Maybe this can be the one to turn him.

                      2. re: mendogurl

                        Just roast it till internal temp is 118˚F, let rest for 20 min. and see what happens. Oh, and DO report!

                        (the screwed up cuts tied together that uncle bob suggests sounds about right)

                  2. have you tried untying it?

                    are you sure it is not already stuffed with something? i recently saw some stuffed turkey breast at a local shop and it was arranged in a similar fashion. maybe you bought it because it was stuffed with something delicious? (turkduckroast?)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mike CP

                      Definitely not stuffed.

                      Turduckroast. This thread is spiraling.
                      it is the oddest roast I've ever seen.
                      Gonna get out my braising cookbook and see if I can find something that wow's.

                    2. That actually looks like beef knuckle that I used to buy in bulk for my former restaurant.
                      If that's what it is it can be roasted or thin sliced and grilled or stir fried.
                      We used it primarily for stir fried or grilled bulgogi, but also in soups and some noodle dishes.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: hannaone

                        It looks like beef knuckle but beef knuckle comes whole so there should be no reason to tie it like that...

                        I would cut off a small slice of the roast and just cook it on the pan to check the flavor and texture.. and most likely go for an oven roast @200 degrees.

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          Well I would play it safe and use it for burgers!

                          Doesn't look like a roast!

                          Or maybe freeze it and wait till you see the butcher again?

                      2. Give your butcher a ring and ask him/her what the hell he/she sold you.
                        This looks like an effort from the butcher's apprentice.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          I agree - it looks like a butchering mistake.

                        2. Take a slice off the corner and sear it quickly on your stove-- if it's nice and tender, roast it. If it' s shoe leather, braise it.

                          And +1 to the "circus tent" roast.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: chococat


                            Good strategy if this is a single cut of meat. I am increasingly suspect this is not a single cut of meat. As such, testing a small portion of it will not represent the entire meat.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              If the circus tent is a mix of both roasting and braising cuts, the OP is hosed either way. A test sample will provide some (albeit incomplete) information. I'd think there's a reasonable chance it's from a single primal (since the fat cap is intact).

                              1. re: chococat


                                Good point about the fat cap. I was probably wrong here. Somehow I thought it looks like a mixture because it is not one big chunk of meat and it lis all folded and warpped up, but that fat cap is a good point.

                          2. Can you tell if it's more than one piece? Do you have a roll of butcher twine and nimble fingers? Maybe untie it and see what's really happening in there...

                            1. Since it has the fat layer so carefully displayed like an asterisk/flower, the meat must be a cut that will *benefit* from that fat--lso you'd cook it like a brisket--? You said his meat was "amazing", so he must know what he's doing.
                              Please let us know.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: blue room

                                Well, it was one extraordinary pot roast.

                                One piece of meat. Amazingly tender, with excellent flavor. Not so sure if it was the cut of meat, more likely the quality. Nothing like buying directly from a small local farmer, who raises meat on grass.
                                Braised it in wine and chicken stock for about three hours, added with fresh thyme small yukons, turnips and carrots. The braising liquid was heavenly spooned over everything .

                                Kids loved it, and pot roast hating husband kept saying, "I don't care what you call it, THIS is not pot roast!!!!!"

                                So thank you everyone for all of your input. Based on what you all contributed, I decided not to roast it. And after eating it, I think it would have made a lousy roast.

                                A virtual round of applause and blue ribbons for all !!!!!!

                                1. re: mendogurl

                                  Thanks for the update. It sounds very tasty.

                                  1. re: mendogurl

                                    pot roast hating husband kept saying, "I don't care what you call it, THIS is not pot roast!!!!!"
                                    After reading the entire thread (with no idea of what it was (but LOVING the circus tent tying method the butcher used) I think this is the best compliment you could have ever gotten! :-)

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      The kids and I kept calling it the dinner that is "not pot roast"