Why Halliloo Longhorn Beef Tastes Better - take a look at this short film to find out a bit more about our lovely Longhorn cows
Halliloo Longhorns live the longest life possible, and for our cattle, that's two and a half years [30 months] living a happy natural life feeding on forage either growing on the farm, here on The North Downs, or mowed and baled on the farm in the summer months to sustain them through the winter. Apart from essential mineral and vitamin supplements, their diet and lifestyle are 100% natural, that way, they enjoy a long and happy life and we can experience their full flavour as a result. Feeding grain to livestock has got to be one of the dumbest ideas in the history of western civilization.
Cows, sheep, and other grazing animals are endowed with the ability to convert grasses, which those of us who possess only one stomach cannot digest, into food that we can digest. They can do this because they are ruminants, which are to say that they possess a rumen, a fermentation tank in which resident bacteria convert cellulose into protein and fats.
Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed beef, but today what is commercially available is almost all corn fed beef. The reason? It's faster, and so, more profitable. Seventy-five years ago, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. Today, they are 14 or 16 months. You can't take a beef calf from a birth weight of 40 kg to 550 kg in a little more than a year on grass alone - it takes enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics and other drugs.
Switching a cow from grass to grain is so disturbing to the animal's digestive system that it can kill the animal if not done gradually and if the animal is not continually fed antibiotics. These animals are designed to forage, but we make them eat grain, primarily corn, in order to make them as fat as possible as fast as possible.
The Longhorn is beyond equal as a suckler cow. Its combination of qualities in terms of milk, calving ease, longevity, docility, length and leanness of body is unrivalled by any other breed and has stood the test of time. Responding to market trends the breed continues to adapt and improve, so much so that the Longhorn is now superbly placed to meet the challenges of Quality Beef Production in the 21st Century. It is a well established fact that intramuscular fat or “marbling” within meat is largely responsible for succulence, tenderness and flavour – the hallmark of beef with superior eating quality. Unlike many rival breeds, which require the laying down of excessive amounts of external fat before the formation of intramuscular fat can take place, a properly finished Longhorn carcase will benefit from “marbling” without such excess external fat cover. Today’s Longhorns are clean, modern cattle; well capable of producing lean beef with superior eating qualities to suit today’s discerning market.
Renowned for its superior eating qualities - indeed, multiple Michelin starred chef, Heston Blumenthal uses Longhorn beef for his Sunday Roast menus – it tastes just like beef used to taste. With its intense, long and lingering taste it is ideal for today’s discerning consumer. Try it and you’ll definitely want more!
Marbling is the fine random strips of fat which run through meat, lubricating it as it cooks. Longhorns have an ability to develop this all-important marbling within the beef without laying down excessive fat.
This yellow fat indicates an animal in excellent health and implies slow growth and outdoor reared. Marbling is a reliable indicator of quality and entitles you to expect good flavour and a succulent and tender piece of meat.
We make no apologies for the fact our meat carries more fat than that found on supermarket shelves. Fat naturally bastes meat while it cooks, giving succulence and added flavour. As the writer, broadcaster and real food campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says naturally occurring fat is”just a sign that the farmer and the butcher are doing their job properly!”
Hanging is the process of maturing the meat by hanging the carcass in a cold room. When hung, meat loses 5% of its weight per week in moisture (15% in 3 weeks). We aim to hang our beef for a full 28 days therefore maximising the best possible flavour.
Moisture loss is a good thing for the consumer as less water leaches out during cooking. Well hung meat will emerge from a spell in the freezer with greater creed than immature, wet meat due to less moisture.
The longer our beef is hung the darker the colour hence in a raw state the beef is deep red colour. When this matured beef is cut or sliced sometimes the edges go brownish, this is a natural process and no way impedes the quality or the taste.
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