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Taste the difference!

Beef comes from cows and all cows are pretty much the same.  One head, four legs, they moo when they want something, right?  Well, sort of.  When it comes to the type of beef that a cow will produce, the answer is no, not all cows are the same.  There is a huge variety of meat that can be produced from one cow to the next.

We are hard core foodies.  While eating one meal, we are talking about what to make for the next.  Our life revolves around food, eating it and most importantly enjoying it!  We started raising our own beef because we wanted to live a healthier lifestyle.  So now we raise all natural, grassfed beef.  It's healthier for you.  However, that is only half of the beef equation.  If a food is good for you, but you can't stand how it tastes, that defeats the purpose.  That brings me to the second half of the equation....taste.

We put as much thought into the taste of our meat as we do into the health benefits of our meat.  One day I got a call from a friend who admitted she was out of ground beef but was in a hurry.  She bought a pound from a local high end grocery store.  She said she could barely eat it because the taste was so strong...and not in a good way.  She wondered why there was such a difference between that meat and ours.  The short answer is that not all cows are the same. 

The long answer is that there are many factors that contribute to the flavor of meat (not taking into account the cooking method.)  The breed of the cow, the age of the cow, what the cow eats and what kind of lifestyle the cow lived all contribute to what kind of meat the cow will produce.

The age of the cow is probably the biggest contributor to the strength of the flavor of the meat.  Consider lamb versus mutton.  What is the difference?  One is young and tastes great, the other is older and tastes....well, not so great.  The same can be said for cattle.  A younger cow has a more subtle flavor.  An older cow will have a much stronger flavor.  I was chatting with a friend of mine who raises Angus cattle.  He had recently sold his older bull because he was getting on in years and not producing as many calves as he had in prior years.  I asked my friend, 'Who would buy a bull that was having fertility problems?'  His response was 'No one, they made burger out of him.'  Ugh.  While a 6 year old 1800 pound bull may produce a huge amount of burger for a really cheap price, who would want to eat it???  So if you've come across some grassfed beef that you just can't eat because of a strong flavor, chances are it's either a bull or an older cow.

Another factor is the breed of the cow.  There are many different breeds of cattle.  Some are produced especially for meat, some for milk and even some for both (all-purpose).  Beef cattle are good at gaining weight easily and producing nice cuts of meat.  Dairy cows are good at producing milk.  There isn't much focus on what kind of meat they produce.  However, there are a lot of dairy bull calves that are produced each year.  They can't give milk, so their other option is to be meat cattle.

Not all cows are the same.  Asking a few extra questions about the cow that your meat  came from can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying the meat.  Know your food.

We are proud of our beef.  It tastes great and it's good for you.  

100% grassfed beef cattle, ample room to roam, processed at the right time.


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