What does it take to be in the World Steak Challenge!? Quite a lot.
We have just submitted our entries into the World Steak Challenge – ribeye, sirloin, and fillet. We have taken this challenge extremely seriously, looking into the provenance, genetics, feed, and age of the samples.
In this blog, we thought we would tell you more about our entries, giving insight into what we do as a local butcher to produce the best quality meat, with the best provenance.
These steaks came from a pure-bred Aberdeen Angus heifer. This breed of cattle is native to Scotland, specifically the North-East and Aberdeenshire. We’re lucky to have them local to us in Scotland, although they’ve grown in popularity around the world. They’re a hardy breed (you’d have to be with our Scottish weather!), which means that they cope well with harsh conditions. They adapt well to changing weather, and are generally good natured too. All of these together have made them internationally known, with them being the most popular breed now in places like the United States and Australia.
We work with only the highest quality breeds, and Aberdeen Angus is absolutely among the highest. We are very lucky that it is native to Scotland, having evolved to be at their best in the Scottish terrain and climate.
The Genetics and Feed
This individual animal has been taken grass-fed for the majority of its life on the amazing Kirkton farm by the Bell family. Kirkton is located in the picturesque Borders of Scotland. It has been ‘finished’ for the last 4 months on a mixture of silage, spent grains left after the malting process (draff).
We have also fed this animal an additive of red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) which can reduce methane emissions from cattle by 80%. The heifer itself was UTM (under thirty months), which is why the texture of the beef is so fine. This individual animal’s breeding can be directly traced back to a bull (Belhaven Ecurie Ecosse) that John Gilmour himself bred in his world famous Belhaven Aberdeen Angus herd.
Aberdeen Angus is widely considered one of the most prized breeds of cattle due to the distribution of fat. Essentially this means that the breed carries its fat throughout its body, which leads to a high degree of even marbling across the meat. For the consumer, this means a juicy, tender texture, with a deep flavour. The age of this particular heifer also contributes to the marbling and ensures the juiciest texture possible.
We then have dry aged this in our Himalayan Salt Chamber for 35 full days, a process that has been perfected by John Gilmour himself in the last 30 years. This removes moisture from the meat at pre-determined intervals, very slowly in our state-of-the-art dry aging chambers. This unique process creates a beautifully rounded depth of flavour, that creates some of the best tasting beef in the world.
Wish us luck in this challenge!
To find out more, visit the World Steak Challenge