The Holstein Breed
Why does a dairy breed such as Holstein have quality meat?
The Holstein breed is one of the finest dairy breeds today with enormous meat producing qualities which many people are unaware of. In fact, Holsteins if given the time, feed, and care can produce some of the best beef available.
The Holstein breed is typically slim which is displayed in the highly productive milk cows. However, if given the extra corn and time, the males continue to gain weight and marbling in the meat. Marbling is crucial to achieve flavor and tenderness in meat. Holsteins use their energy to create marbling unlike traditional beef breeds which produce 25-30% more trimmable fat.
Why aren't Holsteins popular as a beef breed?
Because traditional beef breeds gain trimmable fat quicker and easier than Holsteins, they are easier and more economical to raise. This deters most beef producers from raising this dairy breed. Because we are so concerned about producing the highest quality beef, we spend the extra money and time developing the animals to their full potential.
The truth about Holstein Beef.
Holsteins are valued by meat packers because of the consistency of the breed. They have predictable carcass characteristics in terms of yield, grade, and cutability. Holstein beef is leaner than most beef, which is important to consumers interested in a low fat diet. Engleking Holsteins have been served in the finest restaurants found in downtown New York City.
Why do we Dry-Age our beef?
A misconception many have about beef is the value of the meat being fresh. Many stores and restaurants advertise that their beef is fresh and never frozen. This is an acceptable process however it does not mean that it is a higher quality than frozen dry-aged beef.
To truly bring out the flavor and tenderness of meat, it needs to be dry-aged. Dry-aging is a process that takes between 7 to 28 days in a cooler which allows natural occurring enzymes to break down proteins and tough connective tissue within the meat. This practice was very popular in the 50's and 60's but due to the cheaper and newer technology of vacuum sealing, the interest in dry-aged beef decreased. But in the 1980's dry-aging once again gained popularity when consumers demanded more quality from their beef.
Because dry-aging means storage time, refrigerator space, and increased labor, stores and restaurants like to serve fresh beef. This means that beef is is processed and shipped hundreds of mile in refrigerated trucks which strain the quality of the meat. After the dry-aging process, the meat is frozen which retains all of the initial quality up to 1 year. Many consider dry-aging the best process to enrich quality.