Paddock to Plate; the Steak.

Welcome to our first paddock to plate blog, featuring Adam our highland cross steer. At this stage I must warn any feint-hearted vegetarians that this blog post contains a whole lot of meat, including mouth wateringly tasty photos.

A few weeks back we sent Adam, our 3 year old 3/4 Highland, 1/4 Angus steer to the local abattoir, where he left this world and became tasty beef. On the day he left we gathered up the boys and separated Adam from Hamish and the other steers. We let the boys graze outside the yards so Adam remained calm until the transport arrived.

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A few days later we popped in to the abbatoir to have a look at his body hanging. These are photos of the carcass dressed down at 450kg. Yum!
Looking carefully you can see marbling through the meat, and he has cut at a good colour.

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The carcass then went to our local butchers in Sale to be aged and cut up. Ideally the longer an animal is aged, the better as the meat loses moisture but becomes more tender and concentrates flavour. We were able to age Adam for approximately 27 days before he was cut up.

We haven’t collected all of him from the butcher just yet, but today we brought home some steak for dinner; four T-bones weighing in at a total of 2kg!

This turned into two obscenely sized T-bone steaks for James and his Father, a porterhouse and eye fillet for myself and James’ mother, and a T-bone that is to be shared by James and his father for breakfast tomorrow.

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Once again observe the marbling. This is such a desirable feature in meat as it lends itself to a more flavoursome and tender product as the fat juices can penetrate the full body of the meat as it is cooked. This is quite hard to achieve with a purely grass-fed animal, but is one of the amazing characteristics of the highlands.

The result was a tasty tasty steak that fell apart and practically melted in the mouth. To be honest my tastebuds are watering again only 30 minutes since finishing the meal.

With such a beautiful product on the table you don’t need much to accompany it. Our regular choice for steak is a jacket potato and coleslaw, with either mustard or horseradish, depending on who you are. Personally I’m a whole grain mustard kind of a girl, but James did make a splendid homegrown horseradish sauce which is pretty good! As it was a special occasion we also splashed out with a mango and avocado salad.

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And what good piece of beef isn’t matched with a splendid red wine. Our choice was one of our all time favourites – a 2007 Somerled Shiraz from the Mclaren Vale in South Australia.

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This was the end result:

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Recipes:

A Simple Coleslaw:
Serves 4 – 10 mins
1/4 purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1large carrot, peeled and grated
Mayonnaise to desired quantity
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together 5-10 minutes before cooking steak

Jacket Potato:
Serves 4 – 60+ minutes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or equivalent
Wash 4 medium-sized potatoes and put a metal skewer through the centre of each
Rub with salt
Once oven is at desired temperature, place potatoes on the middle shelf and bake for at least one hour
Remove and serve directly into plates

Mango and Avocado Salad:
Serves 4 – 10 minutes
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
1/2 lime, squeezed
Mix all ingredients together 10 minutes before cooking steak

Homemade Horseradish:
Serves multiple – 10 mins – lasts about a month in the fridge
1/2 cup, peeled and grated horseradish
1 tablespoon approx white wine vinegar
100ml cream
Note – this is not an exact recipe and may require some tweaks depending on the consistency you like.

Steak:
Leave out on the side, covered for a minimum of 6 hours (we usually leave it for 12-24)
Cook as desired and remember to rest meat for a few minutes before eating ( this will give you time to pour the wine and put those tasty sides in the plate!)

Let us know your favourite accompaniments to a good steak!

Happy eating – Rachael

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2 thoughts on “Paddock to Plate; the Steak.

  1. Thanks for sharing, I picked up half a side of beef from my butcher yesterday, I had seen the animal a couple of weeks ago on my friends farm. It’s so important we know where our meat comes from, I wish people realised that and stopped buying the rubbish from the supermarkets! Ros

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