TV chef serves up 100% taste success with Pasture for Life beef
Feeding and finishing his cattle on just grazed grass and silage makes perfect sense to organic, certified Pasture for Life farmer Hugh Grierson, who farms in Tibbermore, near Perth in Scotland.
Recently Hugh invited top chef Nick Nairn to see his cattle and to examine the meat sold from the on-farm butchery.
When Nick asked what the benefits of entirely grass-fed meat are, Hugh replied:
“Well, it’s better for the environment; it locks carbon into the soil; its better for human health – we’re earing better quality meat with higher omega 3 fatty-acids. And it’s better for animal welfare – their guts are designed to digest grass and not grains. And so it’s higher for animal welfare and it probably means they are outside, which is better again.”
The next day, armed with a beautiful piece of Hugh’s certified Pasture for Life fillet of beef, Nick set up in the Landward food van in the centre of Stirling. He prepared mini steaks with peppercorn sauce on the side.
The programme presenter Dougie Vipond joined Nick and asked him what the benefits of eating meat from animals that only ever eat grass are.
“The advantages are, it is a better farm system and most farmers find it easier to be self-sufficient in grass than to grow grain, and process the grain, to feed them the grain.
“It takes a little longer to grow to maturity, and that’s a good thing as well, because that impacts on the quality of the animals.”
After ten minutes in the frying pan, seasoned with pepper and then salt at the last minute, then rested for ten minutes, the medallions of grass-fed meat were ready for taste testing.
To start Nick and Dougie tried some:
“The taste is huge. I mean the peppercorn sauce adds to it, but the taste of the beef is unbelievable.”
“It’s succulent, it’s tasty and it’s incredibly tender.”
“That’s definitely some of the best beef I’ve ever tasted.”
The comments from the passers-by were equally as good:
“That is sensational. That is melt-in-the-mouth.”
“Tender, tasty, tremendous.”
“It’s amongst the best fillet steak I’ve had.”
At the end of the tasting Dougie and Nick agreed that Hugh’s beef was unanimously praised.
“They all loved it. Not a single person said anything other than ‘It’s fantastic’.
“But what was interesting was that a lot of people didn’t realise that cattle don’t just eat grass. They eat lots of other things as well. And I think that’s a great peg to hang this on – grass-fed meat equals quality.”
For a limited time this programme – BBC Scotland Landward, Episode 9 is available to view here on BBC iPlayer.