“Honey … can you go to the Butcher and get a Roast for dinner?”

Greetings Carnivores,

I’m often faced with a bit of a guessing game when dealing with customers. Let me explain: A man’s wife sends her husband to do some shopping and, on his list is a roast of Beef for Sunday dinner.

Today, a somewhat bewildered man was standing before me, questions in his eyes, with just such a task. Sadly, he wasn’t sure what his wife wanted but, she DID say she wanted a roast “that you would find in a buffet”.

Ok, … now we’re getting somewhere.

The typical Beef roast you find in a buffet line is called a “Steamship Round”. It is a full leg of Beef called a Hip that has been ‘squared’ off so that once the cooking has been completed it will ‘stand’ on it’s own to facilitate easy carving.


Steamship Round

Ok so, … back to my bewildered looking customer. He told me it was just going to be he and his wife sitting down to dinner so, I suggested he buy a roast from any one of the four muscles that make up the whole (Steamship) round. They are: the Inside Round, Outside Round, Eye of Round, and the Sirloin Tip.

Here’s the part I always encounter when answering questions about Roasts. “What’s the difference between the Sirloin Tip and the Sirloin Butt (or Top Sirloin)?.

The answer is … PLENTY!!

I have always had a problem with the “Tip” portion being called a “Sirloin” at all. As far as I’m concerned it’s very confusing for the lay-customer. The Sirloin Butt (Top Sirloin) comes from the Loin and as such, is a non-hard working muscle or ‘Floating’ muscle. Conversely, the Sirloin Tip comes from the thigh part of the leg (below the Top Sirloin) and is a muscle used for mobility, therefore: MUCH HARDER WORKING.

Although the Sirloin Tip is still a nice roast (or steak if you will) I think a lot of people, not knowing any different, select the ‘Tip’ thinking “Hey, … it’s a Sirloin … and it’s WAY cheaper than the ‘OTHER’ Sirloin … let’s go with this one instead.”

There’s nothing wrong with that but … if you buy a Sirloin ‘Tip’ thinking it’s a Sirloin Butt (‘Top’ Sirloin), you’re likely to come back and tell me how disappointed you were with the tenderness of your roast.

It’s true, … the butcher will always suggest something more expensive. It’s what we do. Not unlike the waitress at the Burger Joint asking you if you’d like fries with that? It’s called “The Up-Sell”. The difference here is this: I want you to be able to make an informed decision based on information I have given you about these two very different muscles. Remember what I said a while back? (in an older post) Repeat after me … “THE TENDERNESS OF ANY GIVEN MUSCLE DEPENDS ON THE AMOUNT OF WORK IT DOES IN LIFE”

I hope this helps. Any questions … I’m here to answer them for you … and remember … there are NO stupid ones.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

6 thoughts on ““Honey … can you go to the Butcher and get a Roast for dinner?”

  1. Doug is there a certain way I should cut the roast after its cooked. And how long should I let it sit before I cut it?


    • Hey Steve, thanks for the question. You should always cut the roast against (across) the grain and, … always let it ‘stand’ for at least 20 minutes before carving. Check out one of my earlier posts called “Give it a rest”. Stay hungry buddy.

  2. Hey Doug, speaking of carving – can you post about knife sharpening sometime? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on all the various methods – I’ve tried them all including chasing the Italian guy down the street with the portable grinder and the church bell (don’t use those knives any more). I have my favourite knives for different tasks but it seems that the sharpest ones dull the quickest. And remember to place the emphasis on laziness because I have lots of that 🙂 Dave

    • Will do buddy … I have been thinking about a knife post for some time now … let me give it some more thought over the Holiday weekend … HAPPY EASTER to you and your family Dave, Stay hungry old friend.

  3. Great posts ! Never had a difficult time choosing beef in the States, here in Ecuador a whole different ballgame. The only red meat we buy is ground beef and Lomo Fino ( fine tenderloin if I have the translation correct) Have yet to find a decent steak.

    • Hello, and THANKS!! I’m relatively new to this Blogging thing so, I really appreciate the support. My wife and I were vacationing in Venezuela a few years ago so I understand your difficulty locating a steak. When my wife asked our guide about beef his reply was “Lady … do you see any cows?” Welcome to my Blog and, thanks again for your support.

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