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Okay Chowhounds, what IS this ?????

mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 01:18 PM

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. blue room Jan 6, 2010 02:36 PM

    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
      mendogurl Jan 7, 2010 09:02 AM

      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
        Chemicalkinetics Jan 7, 2010 09:09 AM

        Thanks for the update. It sounds very tasty.

        1. re: mendogurl
          LindaWhit Jan 7, 2010 09:12 AM

          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
            mendogurl Jan 7, 2010 12:25 PM

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

      2. Full tummy Jan 6, 2010 01:38 PM

        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. c
          chococat Jan 6, 2010 10:39 AM

          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
            Chemicalkinetics Jan 6, 2010 10:48 AM


            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
              chococat Jan 6, 2010 10:57 AM

              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
                Chemicalkinetics Jan 6, 2010 10:59 AM


                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. bushwickgirl Jan 6, 2010 10:08 AM

            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
              jeanmarieok Jan 6, 2010 11:01 AM

              I agree - it looks like a butchering mistake.

            2. hannaone Jan 5, 2010 04:50 PM

              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
                joonjoon Jan 6, 2010 09:15 AM

                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
                  Mistral Jan 6, 2010 09:57 AM

                  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. Mike CP Jan 5, 2010 02:31 PM

                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
                  mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 03:04 PM

                  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. Sam Fujisaka Jan 5, 2010 01:51 PM

                  A circus tent roast?

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 01:54 PM

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

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

                    1. re: mendogurl
                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2010 01:56 PM

                      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
                        mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 01:57 PM

                        I want roast beef.

                        Chemical, what say you?

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

                        1. re: mendogurl
                          Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2010 02:01 PM

                          :) 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
                            mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 02:03 PM

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

                            1. re: mendogurl
                              Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2010 02:09 PM

                              Forget what I said. I am not sure.

                          2. re: mendogurl
                            linguafood Jan 5, 2010 02:07 PM

                            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. Uncle Bob Jan 5, 2010 01:46 PM

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


                        1. k
                          KTinNYC Jan 5, 2010 01:33 PM

                          It looks like a rump roast or round roast.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: KTinNYC
                            mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 01:36 PM

                            Better pic of the other side.

                            1. re: KTinNYC
                              linguafood Jan 5, 2010 01:43 PM

                              Yah, second the round, bottom probably.

                              1. re: linguafood
                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2010 01:53 PM

                                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. Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2010 01:27 PM

                              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. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 01:29 PM

                                I'll go in for a close up.

                              2. Cherylptw Jan 5, 2010 01:25 PM

                                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
                                  mendogurl Jan 5, 2010 01:29 PM

                                  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
                                    Cherylptw Jan 5, 2010 01:57 PM

                                    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.

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