In Northern America where beef knee caps are fed to the dogs, people don't know what they're missing. The gelatinous meat around the knee caps is divine. Patience is required though to make it fork tender. It took three hours to cook this beef knee caps a la bistek.

Beef Knee Caps a la Bistek

Course Main Course
Cuisine Modern Filipino
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 kilo meaty beef knee caps
  • cooking oil
  • 4 to 6 cups bone broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 whole white onions thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons kalamansi juice or substitute lime or lemon juice
  • fried garlic to garnish
  • sliced scallions to garnish


  • Rinse the knee caps and wipe dry with paper towels.
  • In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking to reach a depth of at least half an inch.
  • Sear both sides of the knee cap until browned. Scoop out and move to a pot.
  • Pour four cups of bone broth into the pot.
  • Add the garlic, shallots, peppercorns and bay leaves. 
  • Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer. After an hour, taste the broth and add salt, if needed. Because you're dousing the meat later with sauce, it is best to under season at this point. Go easy on the salt.
  • Cook the beef until the meat is separating from the bones. Depending on the age of the animal, that should take anywhere from two to three hours.
  • When the beef is almost done, lightly fry the onion rings in the same oil where the beef was seared. Set aside.
  • Scoop out the meat and move to a serving bowl or plate.
  • Pour the soy sauce and kalamansi juice into a sauce pan. Add enough broth (in which the beef knee caps were simmered) to make a salty-tangy sauce. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat.
  • Ladle the sauce over the beef knee caps. Garnish with the fried onion rings, crispy garlic and sliced scallions.