Farmers and consumers getting a raw deal from bovine elitism
The ongoing controversy surrounding the factory grading system and the varying claims regarding the quality of meat from different breeds of cattle prompted me to do my own research again this year.
As in 2017, I decided to buy back some meat from one of my own grass-finished Friesian cattle to see how it would perform in the only test which really matters - eating quality.
My first move was to pick out from the herd a fairly average bullock which I felt had reasonable confirmation and was nicely fleshed. I noted his ear tag and off he went with the rest of the load to the factory
My first surprise was when I saw the kill sheet. What I felt was a reasonable O grade bullock had only graded a P+.
Out of curiosity I pressed ahead with my experiment as he was well fleshed at 3= and had a carcase weight of 361kg
Several weeks later I collected the meat having allowed it to "wet-age" in the factory cold store.
I was pleasantly surprised by the shape and quality of the steaks but the real test would be in the eating.
I wasn't disappointed. It tasted both tender and delicious. And to counter any accusations of bias, I sent one of the country's top chefs a sample of the same striploin. His simple response was that he found the beef to be both "tender and flavoursome".