A great season for grass fed beef

There has been a lot of rain this season. A lot. Which has been devastating for some. The upside is that there is a lot of grass on farms. A hell of a lot of grass. Which means that cattle that graze on grass are getting a lot to eat and are growing fat. After years of drought, beef growers have re-stocked and now we are in a position where grass fed beef is on the market at exceptionally good prices with exceptionally good value. For want of better words, there has never been a better time to put grass fed beef on the menu.


With Ross Thomson

Bidfood meat expert

I know a lot of chefs who are using Emerald Valley grass fed beef. It’s sourced from a handful of farms in the lush grazing country of the New England Tableland in northern New South Wales, and comes from local farmers who have been involved in providing really high quality grass fed beef cattle for more than 40 years. They specialise in raising and grazing British breeds, such as Angus and Hereford, who are known for their eating quality. They are also able to guarantee supply 12 months of the year – essential if a venue invests in putting a brand name on a menu. Emerald Valley beef is processed in a state-of-the-art facility that is owned by a co-operative of local farms. The end result of all this hard work on the farm and processing is beef that is MSA graded to ensure great, consistent taste and texture on the plate.

There is a lot to be said for putting Emerald Valley grass fed beef on the menu. It is lightly marbled and cooks just like grain fed beef, meaning it is forgiving in the kitchen. A customer can order it ‘well done’ (heaven forbid) and still eat well. It also lands in the kitchen at an equivalent price to grain fed beef.

Then there are the customer perspectives on beef. Grass fed beef is considered a healthier choice by many customers. It’s higher in vitamins A and E and, compared to grain fed beef, has lower levels of saturated fat. Where diners are looking for a healthier alternative, Emerald Valley beef fills that role without sacrificing flavour and tenderness. This could be in accomodation, or bistros and pubs that attract repeat customers, or even on healthcare menus where goodness is at the forefront of dish selections.

There is also the narrative around ‘beef as nature intended’. Grass fed beef is free range and therefore associated with good animal husbandry and welfare. It paints a positive picture about agriculture and traditional farming techniques.

But the proof is in the pudding, or the steak in this case. Emerald Valley beef is MSA graded and always has great flavour, without any sacrifice on tenderness. Many people like its richer colour and earthier flavours that match back perfectly to red wines, such as shiraz, malbec and cabernet sauvignon. Steak and red wine were made for each other.

When you open a box of Emerald Valley beef, you can see the deep, rich, red tones and earthy aromas. Emerald Valley beef makes sense financially – it’s great to cook with and has a notable story to tell customers who will also appreciate the fine flavour and tender texture.

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