What Makes Our Highland Beef So Special?
Highland cattle have developed into an efficient and versatile beef breed. They are natural foragers in a variety of terrains and years of breeding have adapted them to out wintering in the severest of climates. Being largely self-sufficient, they require minimal maintenance.
They are fertile and usually calve outside unaided and unattended. Capable of surviving in the harshest weather conditions, Highlanders thrive where other breeds would fail. The Highland cow is long lived and matures on low input natural feed. Their outstanding hardiness minimises costs and many farmers are now recognising the inherent qualities of Highland cattle as a beef breed because of their ability to efficiently convert rough fodder into low fat, high quality beef. Because of the excellent way Highland cattle pass on to their progeny their many virtues they have become the basis of many breeding programmes for beef with that sought after quality.
The wonderful taste of the Highland beef produced is reflected in this diet of natural goodness because beef from grass and grass silage fed animals, as opposed to grain fed animals, generally produces a better quality meat. Feed can alter the fatty acid composition, flavour and oxidative stability of meat and forage based feeds tend to give lower saturated concentrations of fatty acids. Grass fed animals therefore produce ultimate flavour beef.
Full Flavour Beef
Traceability & Provenance
Key Factors that Affect the Taste of Beef
Dry-aging beef means that once the animal is butchered, portions of the carcass are allowed to rest in very carefully controlled conditions (cool temperatures, with relatively high humidity) for a period of time—often several weeks, and sometimes up to a couple of months.
When we create such conditions, we allow enzymes to do their work. And we end up with a complexity of flavour—savouriness, sweetness, some bitterness-that just wasn't there before. There's no cooking method that can generate the depth of flavour of a dry-aged piece of meat.
During dry-aging, collagen, which is what holds the muscle fibres together, is broken down. Collagen is what can make a steak tough. After the dry-aging process the collagen is broken down leaving protein which is extremely tender.
Typically we dry-age our completely free range beef for up 28 days, which is already 2 weeks longer than the industry average. However, we know that extended maturation up to 35 days increases the meat flavour intensity and complexity even more.
- Increased meat flavour complexity
- Extremely tender
- Intense beef flavour due to loss of meat moisture
- Dark colour of meat and fat
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