What is the Beef Knuckle?

The beef knuckle is a sub-primal from the beef round. It weighs approximately between 9 to 14 lbs., depending on the carcase weight.

The knuckle goes by many names: The ball of the round, sirloin tip, round tip, tip center (centre in UK and Ireland) and sometimes thick flank, beef ball tip roast, sirloin tip roast and French roll roast (there are different names around the world). 

After the knuckle cap is removed this is a very lean beef cut. The beef knuckle is a very versatile beef sub-primal cut and a great source of lean beef. 

There are four main muscles in the Beef Knuckle including the knuckle cap. This outer layer has a small piece of meat but mainly consists of dry connective tissue that should be removed.

The femur muscle

This is the muscle that is attached to the femur and has a fair bit of fat and gristle that needs to be removed. It also has a layer of connective tissue from where it connected to the femur. When trimmed, this muscle is great for lean ground beef.

The wedge muscle

This one is a solid lean piece of beef with a thin outer covering of connective tissue on the outside and a thick silverskin on the inside. When it is completely trimmed, there are many options for this cut. Diced for stews, casseroles, beef bourguignon. Sliced thinly for minute steaks, sandwich steaks, Philly cheesesteak or cut into strips for stir-frying or beef stroganoff, it is an excellent product. You could roast it, but you would need to add some fat to the outside because it is very lean.

The bullet muscle

This is the best muscle of the group. It could be roasted, with a layer of fat added for flavour and moisture, and it has really lean wide-ish slices, so very good for portion control. The inter-muscle connective tissue does not need to be removed as it will melt during roasting.

The bullet can be further subdivided by cutting along the thin silver skin to make two smaller cuts. If these cuts are matured for long enough, say 14 to 21 days, they are very tender and full of flavour. The thicker of the two, if tenderised, is as tender as some of the premium steaks and the thinner piece makes really good beef strips for stir-fry. 

Tenderising steaks using a Jaccard tenderiser is a useful method of breaking down the fibres of meat prior to cooking. The unit has 48 needle-pointed blades that cut into the muscle and leave the meat softer to the tooth and create a better eating experience. The Jaccard tenderisation also allows more marinade to penetrate the meat, giving a lot more flavour to the final product.

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