Scottish Highland Cattle Meat is Premium Beef
The Scottish Highlander has a modern beef carcass with lean, well-marbled, flesh that ensures tenderness and succulence with a very distinctive flavor. Highland beef is healthy and nutritious with lower levels of fat and cholesterol and a higher protein and iron content than other beef.
The Scottish Highlander's proven ability to produce top quality meat without the addition of expensive high quality feeds makes this breed the perfect choice for those people who wish to produce beef with natural inputs.
Scottish Highland beef is slow-maturing making it a premium beef which is lean, well marbled with low fat and cholesterol levels whilst remaining rich in protein and flavor, criteria increasingly demanded by today's market.
A heavy coat insulates against a harsh climate and reduces the need to develop excess back fat.
Recent studies in both North America and the UK have shown that Highland Beef is consistently much lower in fat content and cholesterol than other breeds. It is so lean that it compares with chicken and fish fat content.
The marbling of the beef gives the same tenderness and tastiness as the other larger breeds.
Studies in the US have verified that Highland Beef is 38% lower in fat content and 4% lower in cholesterol than steaks from local supermarkets.
Studies in the UK list the quantities of fat per 100 grams as:
|Scottish Highland Cattle||Other Breeds Beef Overall|
|Fat||4.5g /100g||15.6g /100g|
|Cholesterol||40.9mg / 100g||64.3mg / 100g|
|Protein||20.7g / 100g||18.6g / 100g|
|Iron||2.1mg / 100g||2.0mg / 100g|
The Butcher's Secret
by Margaret Badger, Maple Lea Farm, West Bolton, Quebec
as written in the Winter 2009 Kyloe Cry Newsletter
After decades of producing Highland beef and placing orders for specific cuts of meat for customers, we learned recently of a cut of beef that is new to us - the "spider steak" or "biftck araigée" in French. Our butcher, Carl, divulged the "butcher's secret" last year and we have been ordering it ever since. When a butcher cuts a side of beef using the "French cut" method, each muscle is removed separately The spider steak is a very special muscle only weighing about 120grams (in a Highland that is found in the hollow of the hip joint and is difficult to remove as a piece. It is a muscle that does not get much work and is therefore very tender. It was traditionally kept as a treat by the butcher not many people knew about it. The name "spider steak" comes from the appearance of the piece of beef as there are 5 strips of cartilage running through this small piece - perhaps resembling a spider's web? We started offering it to our clients at the local Farmer's Market and it soon became as popular as the "bavette" a cut of beef prized by French connoisseurs of beef.
By chance one week the spider steak was left at the end of the Saturday market, so I took it home to try it. e also had a Highland rib steak t barbecue that night, so we started cooking the rib steak and when it was nearly done we put the spider steak on e grill for a couple of minutes of each side, as it was thinner than the rib steak. We shared each steak and I started on my piece of spider steak. Wow!! What flavor and so tender! When I finished off the spider steak, I started on the rib steak and was amazed at the difference. To my taste he spider steak was much more flavorful and more tender than the rib steak.
Next time you have an animal ready for the butcher, ask for the spider steak Too bad there is only 1 spider steak per side of beef!
Farmers have a clear moral obligation towards their animals, but it is interesting to note that the meat from animals reared extensively on grass and natural fodder actually tastes better and is held by many doctors and other individuals as better for you.
Grass fed beef is clearly lower in cholesterol and higher in protein. Meat from Scottish Highland Cattle is one of the best. When Boswell wrote his life of Dr. Johnson', he asked 'whether such a mind as his was not more enriched by roaming at large in the fields of literature, than if it had been confined to a single spot,' and drew the following analogy: "The flesh of animals who have fed excursively, is allowed to have a higher flavor than that of those who are cooped up".
In Thackeray's Vanity Fair', the character Lord Steyne said, having recently dined with the King on a joint of mutton: "A dinner of herbs is often better than a stall fed ox". Except from "The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young"
Did you know that Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family maintain a purebred fold of Scottish Highland Cattle at Balmoral Castle where they are naturally raised and grass fed. Balmoral Castle occupies 65,000 acres of naturally preserved landscape. The Queen's herd has been as large as 100, but in recent years has been reduced to half that. When the Royal Family travel, they often send their own meat ahead of them, as they believe it is the healthiest of meats.