Its long, thick, flowing coat of hair and majestic horns makes the magnificent Highland an instantly recognisable breed of cattle. They do not come much tougher and able to withstand winters, either. Hardy and minimal maintenance too. Keith Gascoigne, who we get our Highland beef from, runs one of the largest folds in Yorkshire. His cattle are often grazing in the Yorkshire sculpture park and other areas in the county, as part of a conservation grazing scheme. People sometimes remark on how beautiful the Highland is and so would be sad to eat it. However, the fact is that if we want to keep seeing this charming and photogenic beast on our lands, then we must also eat them.
Nowadays people are concerned with the provenance of the meat they buy, and so we can assure you that our Highland beef is authentic. When an animal is well cared for and left to mature slowly without interference, then you are rewarded in the quality of its meat.
History of the Highland Breed
The Highlands heritage goes back centuries, as it is one of the oldest breeds. When you have this amount of quality in the animal and the meat, you do not need to mess around with breeding. Keith’s cattle come from stock that was originally grazing on the Balmoral estate. Written records date back to the 18th century as breeding became more formalised. Although technically listed as a rare breed, the highland has never been so popular as today. In many countries, new folds are being set up, as more people want to enjoy their delicious meat. If you would like to know more about the breed, then the official website is here.
The Highland breed is synonymous with quality meat. Nutritious and healthy meat with low fat and low cholesterol. Plus, a higher protein and iron content comparable with other beef, Highland beef takes some beating. As the Highland eats grass all year round and is a slow growing animal, the meat is some of the most natural tasting around. We hang and age the beef for a minimum of 21 days. This process matures the meat, like a fine wine. The meat changes in two ways, because of hanging for this time. Firstly, the muscle dries out a little, creating a greater concentration of flavour and texture. Secondly, the enzymes in the meat break down the connective tissue, leading to a more tender cut. The beef is lean, with well marbled flesh, tender, distinctive in taste, and texture.
If choosing a steak, the meat is best simply cooked and served. However, if you wish to try the highland beef in one of our recipes, then our Beef and Apricot Tagine would benefit from this tender meat. The Beef box is the best value and includes the diced beef required.
This month we have 28 day aged Highland beef on sale and you can choose your favourite cuts by clicking here.