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Feed that improves flavor of beef?

 
Suzy Bean
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I was wondering what people knew about how feed affected flavor in beef, and what feed people prefer to use. I started thinking about this after reading this article in farm show (Vol. 34, No. 6) called "Wine-Fed Beef Relaxed, Better Tasting." These people are giving their cattle wine and it has "enhanced flavor, is more tender with finer marbling, and has sweeter tasting fat" ! In terms of how it affects the cows, they say, "Wine is antimicrobial so it helps reduce E. Coli in beef. There seems to be a reduction in methane, and the herd has a different smell. Steers also seem to be more relaxed." Veterinarians gave them the OK, and their meat runs about 10% above organic beef prices. Pretty cool. Apparently their burgers are really awesome.
 
John Polk
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I lived in Argentina for several years, and I will attest to the fact that grass fed beef will win out every time over grain fed beef!
 
Leila Rich
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Like John says, a healthy polycultural  pasture and good stock rotation is all your cattle need to be delicious.
I think adding anything else would likely be bad for a ruminant and probably a waste of energy and money.
 
Jordan Lowery
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yup create a polyculture field like Leila says and thats all you need. if you got the idea to be feeding them anything extra. just buy seed of said plant and establish it in the field.
 
T. Pierce
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im probably the only one to say this.  but i think grass fed beef is extremely poorly flavored in comparison to the unhealthy grained out beef.

almost isnt worth eating IMO.  with that said i still am trying to convince myself to go the healthier route  but its not easy. esp. w/ someone that is quite the fan of a good ribeye.  and on some occasions a really nice fillet.

anyhow...i wonder if anyone has fed out poultry, or pork using a wine based diet.  i wonder if you could soak their feed in the wine and that would be sufficient??  hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm................................??
 
Suzy Bean
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You know, in the article, the woman said she got the idea to start trying wine after having pork that had been fed beer.  I am curious too.
 
T. Pierce
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[ftp=ftp://Steers also seem to be more relaxed]Steers also seem to be more relaxed[/ftp]

i find humor in this sentence.  makes sense though.  lol.
 
Brice Moss
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Dead Rabbit wrote:
im probably the only one to say this.  but i think grass fed beef is extremely poorly flavored in comparison to the unhealthy grained out beef.

almost isnt worth eating IMO.  with that said i still am trying to convince myself to go the healthier route  but its not easy. esp. w/ someone that is quite the fan of a good ribeye.  and on some occasions a really nice fillet.

anyhow...i wonder if anyone has fed out poultry, or pork using a wine based diet.  i wonder if you could soak their feed in the wine and that would be sufficient??  hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm................................??


have you tried goat? (cheveron) its bears most of the traits we like to corn feed then marinade our steaks for, fine grain soft chewing and great fat structure
 
Leila Rich
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Dead Rabbit ,
I'll never be making flavour comparisons between grain and grass fed herbivores: it's practically unknown to feed grain here and we'll just say it's not my thing anyway.
Do you prefer grain fed flavour, texture or both? I have this mental picture of it being bland and soft but I really don't know...
 
Brice Moss
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thats about it Leila its soft easy to chew with very little flavor

force fed chicken is worse the only flavor in those birds is in th bone marrow
 
T. Pierce
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Leila wrote:
Dead Rabbit ,
I'll never be making flavour comparisons between grain and grass fed herbivores: it's practically unknown to feed grain here and we'll just say it's not my thing anyway.
Do you prefer grain fed flavour, texture or both? I have this mental picture of it being bland and soft but I really don't know...


its all about flavor.  and the texture is much better too.  same way with store bought chicken.  much more tender.  but i feel that grass fed beef is very bland.  flavor is in the fat.  fat comes from graining a beef out.  a good month or more on nothing but grain before slaughter will put flavors in a beef that will ruin you for grass fed.  thats why i make the statement that grass fed is almost not worth eating beef in my book.  36 yrs of eating grain fed beef has spoiled my tastebuds.  the last 2 yrs of eating grass fed,  beef that ive bought for home consumption....its really a disappointment .
 
tel jetson
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T. Pierce wrote:
its all about flavor.  and the texture is much better too.  same way with store bought chicken.  much more tender.  but i feel that grass fed beef is very bland.  flavor is in the fat.  fat comes from graining a beef out.  a good month or more on nothing but grain before slaughter will put flavors in a beef that will ruin you for grass fed.   thats why i make the statement that grass fed is almost not worth eating beef in my book.  36 yrs of eating grain fed beef has spoiled my tastebuds.  the last 2 yrs of eating grass fed,  beef that ive bought for home consumption....its really a disappointment .


this is a fairly common sentiment.  lots of folks don't like grass-fed beef.  I suspect that a large part of the blame is the producers' and the butchers'.

if the animals aren't getting enough available calcium, they'll be short on a class of enzymes call calpains that are involved in tenderization post mortem.  that's the producer's fault.

grass-fed beef tend not to have the thick layer of fat insulating the carcass that grain-fed beef do.  because most butchers are mostly familiar with grain-fed beef, their practices are oriented toward an insulated carcass.  that layer of fat slows down the chilling process substantially.  so grass-fed carcasses chill much faster than grain-fed carcasses treated the same way.  that fast chilling also negatively effects the tenderization and maturation of the meat.  that is the butcher's fault.

folks who are aware of these things are around, but they can be hard to find.  if you're after grass-fed beef for health or ethical or environmental reasons, but haven't been impressed by the flavor and texture, look around for producers and butchers who really know how to handle grass-fed animals.  I believe you'll have a much better experience.

John Polk wrote:
I lived in Argentina for several years, and I will attest to the fact that grass fed beef will win out every time over grain fed beef!


my guess is that this is because it's so common there that folks know how to handle it properly.


as for the original topic, I'm also curious.  I've heard that feeding onions ruins milk, but can make meat very tasty.  feeding wine doesn't sound too terrible in reasonable amounts, though I think I would need to get more than a 10% premium to make the extra effort.
 
John Polk
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Typically, Argentine beef is tougher, cut for cut than American beef, but has so much more flavor.  I would much prefer to chew a little more than have a melt in your mouth slab of tasteless meat. Filet mignon to me is not worth eating (bland).  I guess that is why they always wrap it in bacon...add some fat and flavor!
 
T. Pierce
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is grass fed tougher in Arg. b/c of the grass diet or the free movement of grazing.  free ranging.  while grained out is the cattle sitting in a paddok with movement  to a minimum?

i like them  1 1/2 thick fillets that you can cut with a fork.  if i want to chew alot,  and get good flavor, i'll make some jerky
 
Suzy Bean
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That's a good question, I would be curious to know too
 
John Polk
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The cattle in Argentina is indeed free ranged.  The toughness comes from what cattle are supposed to do: walking...it builds muscle.  The flavor comes from eating grasses, which is the natural diet of cattle.  Cattle's stomachs are not designed to convert grains into nutrients...that is just another one of mankind's lazy/greedy methods of creating the most product in the shortest amount of time (with the least amount of capital investment in real estate).

As was posted earlier, perhaps the butchers in Argentina know their product, and how best to prepare them.  An Argentine butcher would probably do a lousy job if he had to prepare a grain raised cow, as he probably has no clue that it must be done differently.
 
Melba Corbett
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In one of the books on making Quality Pastures I read recently, it said the flavor in beef is not just dependent on what they are eating.  It has a lot to do with the animal's genetics, and breeding.  It did say that Jersey beef is quite good, comparable to Angus.  That surprised me.  Since then, I talked with a local dairy farmer and he said he agreed.  They raised their steer calves for beef and said it was delicious. 

There is also a world of difference in a properly fertilized, natural pasture with adequate rainfall, and one that is saturated with nitrates, and that would probably affect the taste as well. 
 
Leila Rich
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I've also talked to farmers who sing the praises of Jersey's as beef animals, which is the complete opposite of 'conventional' wisdom that considers them purely as milkers.
Most of the meat that ends up in NZ supermarkets is from 'bobby' calves, the male offspring of our Friesian dairy cows.
Real beef breed meat is always relatively expensive.
I imagine the meat from a dairy breed well raised on good pasture would trump a 'beefy' from less than ideal conditions, no matter how fabulous its genes.
By the way, totally ot, but I must put in a plug for the Murray grey: friendly, delicious, good milkers and mothers, not too big and can handle pretty average pasture.
 
Camille Wright
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Talk about beef in here, regular patrons at steakhouses might have seen that the cost of beef is going up. Though it seems like an utter disgrace, the fact of the matter is that high prices of petroleum leads to higher gasoline prices, thus higher costs for food and other products. Article source: Price of beef hoofing it through the roof.
 
John Polk
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If people are complaining now about the cost of beef, I've got bad news for them.

Last year's drought from TX into OK, KS, and CO caused most ranches to sell off their young cattle, so they could concentrate their feed and water on the ones who would be ready for market that summer/fall. As a result, there will be an extreme shortage of cattle ready for market this year. Guess what that will do to retail prices.

 
Suzy Bean
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Paul and Jocelyn talk about organic farm income and cattle in this podcast

They talk about how feed affects flavor
 
Jay Green
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Instead of the expense of wine, why not just place mother vinegar in their water? It does wonderful things to the flavor and tenderness of the meat, distributes the fat throughout the muscle fibers and improves the intestinal health of the animal by increasing absorption of valuable nutrients while also giving the immune system a boost. It won't "relax" them but it will improve the meat.

Many livestock producers are buying it by the barrel to implement it with their animal husbandry practices. I've used it for chickens, sheep and a cow or two for the past several years and can attest to the value of vinegar for these purposes. I am currently giving it to my latest flock of meat chickens...who are in optimal health and growth right now on free range and fermented feeds~and with ACV in their water every day.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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