What Makes Our Beef A Premium Choice
Have you ever wondered what makes one ranch’s beef better than another? Or, why there’s such a wide range of prices when it comes to beef? While I can’t speak for every farm, here’s the low-down on what makes our beef so dang good!
There’s a lot that goes into producing good beef, in fact a lot more than I ever anticipated when we decided to get into cattle in the first place. After making some rather expensive choices when it came to raising our cows, to say I was nervous it wouldn’t pay off is an understatement. But, I’m so happy to report, we regularly have customers telling us it’s the best grass-fed beef they’ve ever had… Cue goofy excited face.
So what makes our grass fed, grass finished beef a premium option here in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver?
We go beyond a simple grass-fed diet.
Not all grass is created equal when it comes to producing meat. Like all grass fed, grass finished beef in BC, due to our climate we can’t feed standing green grass all year round and need to subsidize with hay. Here at Central Park Farms, we choose to feed alfalfa instead of a lesser quality (and less expensive) hay.
Alfalfa is high in protein and helps us develop nice fat marbling in our beef — Lack of marbling is a major complaint many have with grass fed beef. The diet we feed also allows us to avoid the ‘gamey’ taste that turns many customers off of grass fed beef options.
PS, when buying grass fed beef, be sure to confirm that it’s 100% grass fed and grain free… all beef at some point in it’s life is grass fed, so the claim can be made even if the cattle ended up grain finished in a high concentration feed lot in the end. Our beef is never fed grain and is never raised anywhere other than our farm or beginning in 2019, our ranch.
We raise quality cattle stock.
Just like how not all hay is created equal, not all breeds of cattle are equal. Here on the farm we raise exclusively 100% Black Angus cattle. Angus are known for their tender meat, good fat marbling, and they excel in forage (grass) based diets.
When first starting our breeding herd we put a strong emphasis on quality — Believe it or not as registered Black Angus our cattle have been DNA proven, and our testing has even gone as far as having the ribeye conformation tested on our live breeding stock by use of ultrasound. So moving forward we’re confident in the quality of our cattle as we move our growing herd to the ranch.
Our grass fed beef is dry aged.
What the heck does dry aging even mean? Prior to being sold, beef is aged which occurs one of two way — Dry aged, or wet aged.
Dry aging is when the whole sides are hung in a temperature and humidity controlled environment at the butcher shop for an extended period of time to age. Aging allows enzymes to breakdown tough muscle in turn tenderizes the beef.
With wet aging, the cuts are vacuum sealed and aged much quicker, usually during transit though to the grocery distribution chain.
More and more butchers and farmers are going with wet aging because it’s not only quicker but also there’s less loss of product weight during the wet aging process — And less lost weight means more profit. The trouble is that it doesn’t make for the best flavour, often taking on a slight metallic taste and lacks the same depth of flavour as dry aged.
Our grass fed and grass finished beef is 21 day dry aged for superior flavour and tenderness.
Interested in more information? I’ll be going into the full nitty gritty of the two methods of aging in a future post so stay tuned.
Kendall ~ Boss Chick at Central Park Farms